Friday, November 2, 2012

Indian Block Print Fabric - Part 1

 Talking about Block Print fabrics of India, there are a lot of ways of block printing done here. The million and one choices can confuse a buyer when he/ she is set out to buy a block print fabric. I've been asked time and again the differences between the block prints that I offer in my shop. So, here's a detailed explanation of them. Broadly classified, block print fabrics can be of 2 varieties: handmade and machine made. There are a lot of handmade types and most handmade types are also available in machine made type of block printed fabrics. Usually, the handmade ones are more expensive. The only reason being, it's made by human hands and more the time it took to make it, more the price.

Bagh Print of Bagh(Madhya Pradesh)

Let us start with Bagh print. Bagh print is a native print done only in Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh by their rural population( the Khatri community). This print is named after a small tribal town named Bagh in the Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh. "Bagh" means "Garden" in Hindi, maybe that's why this print is called Bagh print.

This print usually consists of nature, plants, flowers, trees, nature in general. It is made using hand carved wooden blocks instead of being printed by machines. Each block is made by expert crafts person. It is then used to print different types of fabrics like, cotton, silk & jute using handmade vegetable dyes. The process of this type of hand block printing is long and painstaking as the fabric goes through several times of washing, printing & drying to get it's best colors, softness, quality and other great attributes. Mostly, these fabrics are used as saris, home decor, etc.

Dabu Print of Bagru(Rajasthan)

Next is Block Printing of Bagru in Rajasthan. This process uses wax- resist technique to block print. Usually the motifs of this type of printing are big and bold against a white/ off-white background. The colors are usually red, black which can be vegetable or chemical dyed. The prints used are mostly floral or of animals, bird found in this place.
Screen Printed Block Print

Then comes the garden variety type, the screen printed block print fabrics which is the half-sister of the handmade type of block printing. This printing is machine made(screenprinted) & mostly avaialble for much lesser price than the handmade ones. this is available in all colors, designs and on different types of fabrics.
I will will adding more unique and interesting block prints of India soon.


  1. The Lotus prints are beautiful! Will check them out in your shop!

    1. You're most welcome to shop with me, Reshma. Have a nice time window shopping my other fabrics too. :)

  2. Here's my shop link: