Block prints of Jaipur- history, technique, beauty and popularity

The delicate yet detailed Jaipuri Block print has been an integral part of India’s rich textile and hand-loom heritage. The simplicity and creativity of this technique is the reason why women of all ages fall for it. Trends changed, fashion evolved and technology took over craftsmanship but block prints held their place with élan. Today you can find beautiful shirts, skirts, scarves and even dresses boasting of this elegant and dainty print. Its ageless allure has made it a favorite of many national and international designers as well.

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The origins

Block printing originated and was pioneered in the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan, from where it then traveled to the east. The chief community involved in the art of textile block printing is the Chhipa community who originated from Bagru, Rajasthan. This art form is a painstaking and labor-intensive process that has traveled through the generations of skilled workmen of this community. The printers use wooden, metal or linoleum blocks to dye and color fabrics.  The regions of Bagru, Sanganer, Akola and others have been using traditional block printing methods and natural dyes for over three centuries now. This art form has not just survived modern techniques but has beautifully adapted latest fads too.

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Different techniques

The Sanganeri technique was developed somewhere around the 17th century when the craftsmen migrated to Rajasthan from Gujrat. The block printing at Bagru started 450 years back with the settlement of Chhipas. The Chhipas in this area tend to settle alongside the river since the clay from the river is essential for their Bagru prints. The traditional Sanganeri and Bagru prints, while eco-friendly, differ in the color schemes and design type. If the print is a motif or geometrical pattern on colors like black, beige or brown, it is Bagru whereas floral trellis patterns on bright white background is unmistakably Sangeri. Also, the detailing is much more intricate in Sangeri prints.

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Bagru Print

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Sanganeri Print

Skill, team work and time are quintessential to the block printing technique. The process starts with the carving of an intricate design on a teak block which can then be used for printing. A single design might need up to 30 such blocks and a single block printed fabric, might require the work of nearly 20 people working individually for 8-10 hours. The dyes used are natural colors and vegetable dyes. The cloth material used are local and imported. Though the usual items to be block printed are traditional Indian garments, bed covers and curtains, nowadays tops, skirts, scarves and dresses are also being printed and the beauty is gaining popularity in the Western world too.

lucky brand

block print inspired tops by Lucky Brand

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block print inspired styles by J Crew

Whatever the technique, Jaipuri block prints are unique, exotic and captivating. So this summer get yourself some breezy tops, skirts, scarves or dresses with the unique and ever trending Jaipuri block prints. We do a lot of block prints at Ayurvastram. Check out some of our styles:

block20print20cotton20tunic20indigo20with20white20print20leaves20cu

shirt20dress20black20floral20front20closeup

crinkled20cotton20crush20skirt20navy

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