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Block Printing

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By Author: Story By Atelange
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One of the ancient printed textiles of India is Block printing. Block printing has its origin dated back to Indian valley civilizations and has an example of its emergence in China. Fabrics are print through carved wooden and metal blocks. The carved wooden blocks dipped in color are pressed upon the cloth to give a printed effect. India is widely known for its culture and traditions. Many states of India have centers of block printing, where artisans are doing this for ages and, this technique is passing from generation to generation.

Parts of India like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Andra Pradesh, Gujrat have block printing centers. Each center offers unique block-printed fabrics like Bagru, Sanganer, Dabu, Ajarakh, and kalamkari. Each fabric depicts a story through its color and motifs.

Motifs are usually print on dark backgrounds like black and red.
Colors are extracts from plants, vegetables, and metals as per availability. One more interesting fact about block printing is that all the designs used for block printing in Udaipur have their names originated from nature, animals, birds, plants, and vegetables. ...
... These names are easy to remember for the communities involved in block printing as these names are associated with their lives.

The colors majorly seen in block printing are Kasumal (red), moongiya ( dark green), Indigo (blue).
Motifs of block printing fabrics have their origin from Persian motifs which, have intricate floral motifs. Motifs design for block print are flowers like sunflower, Jasmine, small motifs like dhania, Suraj kai Phool, tittli, Gamla, angoothi, and ambi, Butis, jali designs – Mughal (geometrical) designs like Lehriya, chaupad, lines, dots, and chatai, humans, elephants, deer, lion, peacock, pigeon.
The print of flower-laden trees surrounding red chillies against a blue-black outline is synonymous with the Barmer district of Rajasthan. In the Sikar or Shekahawat print, animal motifs, usually camels, horses, lions, or peacocks, are popular. Block printing has inspired so many artists and designers around the world and is still inspiring.
Each block printing center carries its uniqueness and has its style. Each fabric is different and, the procedure is different from one another.

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