Exploring Rajasthan: Sanganer: Block Print Textile Tour

My love for hand block prints is not new! But with sewing and designing garments as my new found interest… The romanticism towards handlooms textiles has increased exponentially of late! Having tried the typical earthy colors of Kalamkari n overdone indigos, my heart yearned for brighter colors, colors with vividness, vitality and liveliness… While exploring Rajasthan,  Sanganeri block prints was just what I needed…

Nestled just about 6-7 kms from Jaipur’s International Airport is a dreamland for textile lovers while exploring Rajasthan. It is also one of the few places where block print and screen prints arts are practiced in such magnitude

The researcher in me was not happy with just buying it from store! Source story was to be told…

There are majorly two kinds of work that is popular in Sanganer – Bedsheets/ quilts/ Bedspreads of varied sizes and of course the block print fabrics that have multiple use – right form garment to bags to dupatta/stoles to home décor

Each one of us would have grown up seeing these bedspreads at home… Ever wondered how’s it made?

The tables have wax to ensure cloth doesn’t move, outline is first traced n every color you see has a different frame… It’s carefully placed one over the other n printed sequentially with intermediary drying time… Then it’s dried overnight n washed.

Frames of bedspreads kept outside the factories… They always design half frames! Any guesses why?
Because they can go half print at a time… Leave the other half empty… Complete the entire assembly line and rotate the frame n repeat! Since the design is always symmetrical… Why do you need to design the entire thing when half can do the job 😎

Block printing is intricate and far more complex and time-consuming…

The wooden blocks are sorted, designs carefully traced n then goes hours of chipping n chopping! Result – Voila! Exquisitely hand crafted wooden block!
Sometimes same designs are traced multiple times (no. of traces = no. of colors that needs to be filled in the design) but when it’s craved the artisan carves it in complimenting manner. That’s how we see multiple colors in the block prints!

Fascinating part of block printing is color change… Color changes at 3 stages – printing, drying and steaming and/or washing…
A enthusiastic homemaker took me around her home-turned-factory n all along asked me to guess the final product color… Gave me hints too! Nonetheless every time I miserably failed and every time she giggled

The finished samples. Can’t love them enough…

However, the fascinating experience also left wondering why does this world renowned artistry comes with baggage of underpaid efforts that truly deserve more in every aspect of life…

Apart from their mastery, the smiles I gathered from them through the day and their hospitality of kadak chai reassures me for now that many art lovers will be drawn towards them… just like me!

Travel trivia:

How to get there: Book your flights to Jaipur by click on this link

From Jaupur, Uber/Ola it from your hotel (OR) Take a metro ride till Mansarovar Station and then take a tuk-tuk ride or Bus no. 28 goes start to Malpura Gate from transport Nagar through the city.

Locations to explore: In and around Malpura Gate

Organized factories visits can be done at: Raaga Textile

es – However, spending a few hours and exploring on your own is recommended 🙂 Every other home in that area will be happy to host you and to show you their work. and needless to say, you would be delighted with actually exploring Rajasthan beyond the forts and sand. 

Cheers!

Deepika

 

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