Hand block printing is a traditional printing technique used in India. The history of this printing technique in India dates back to 3500 to 1300 BC. It is under the Mughal patronage, hand block printing flourished and took its form. Printing and dyeing of clothes in India originated initially in Rajasthan and later was spread to other states in the country. In India Rajasthan, Gujarat, West Bengal, Punjab, and some other states. Let us see more about how hand block printing is done in India. Scroll down to know more!
Hand Block Printing Procedure in India
There is a lot of work that involves in transferring the beautiful design from the wooden block onto the fabric. In fact, block printing is not only used for fabrics, but also for home décor items. The procedure in both cases however is the same. Let us see the step-by-step process of how it is done!
1. Creating the Design
The first step in the process is to create a design or pattern. This usually is any element related to nature like leaves, plants, or motifs relating to Indian history, rural life, art, etc. Once the artist finalizes the design, it is traced onto a wooden block with a pencil, chalk, or suitable pen.
2. Carving the Design
The next step after creating the design is to chip the wooden block to obtain the required design. Sycamore wood, teak wood, and pear wood are used in general for the blocks. Chipping is the most crucial step of the process as this is the key factor that affects the final design. Before craving, the wood is soaked in oil for 10-15 days to soften it. Softwood makes the chipping process easier and more definite.
3. Dyeing the fabric
The next step in the process is to dye the fabric with a base color. The fabrics are prewashed before laying flat on a table for base dyeing. Once the base coloring is done, the next step is block printing using multiple dyes as per the design requirement.
4. Hand Block Printing
This is the main step in the process of hand block printing. The block is dipped in dye and stamped firmly by hand onto the fabric. You can create a multitude using 3-4 dyes of different colors as the design demands. More the colors in the design, more the number of blocks required, and costlier the process. This process requires a certain amount of force – sometimes hammers are used by elderly people to do block printing.
Once it is dried, the fabric is rinsed and dried in sun. This concludes the process of hand block printing. The print is sometimes uneven or irregular owing to basic human errors. This imperfection is what makes these fabrics beautiful and special compared to the readymade fabrics. Check out our collection of hand block printed sarees.