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Bagru Print

Bagru Print

Bagru Print:

Bagru is another  hand-block printing technique from the village of  Bagru,Rajasthan. It's usually done with natural dyes made from materials like iron, tree gum, indigo and Amla. Bagru textiles gained popularity between the 16th and 17th century with the East India Company exporting them in large quantities to Europe. 

This art was actually introduced by the Chippa community who migrated from Sawai Madhopur (Alwar) and settled in Bagru. Chippa literally means people who stamp or print. The artisans smear the cloth with Fuller’s earth from the riverside and then dip it in turmeric water to get the beige-coloured background. After that, following the other steps, they stamp the cloth with beautiful designs using natural dyes of earthly shades.

There are majorly five different types of motifs that are used in Bagru Printing – Flowers & Birds, Tendrils, Trellis or Jaal Designs, Geometrical motifs and human or animal figurative motifs. Generally, Bagru printing is done on an Indigo or some other dyed background where the prints have a slight reddish hue to them. Traditionally, motifs printed in Bagru are large with bold lines and most of the printing is done with relatively small blocks as opposed to large blocks, on very small & low tables called the ‘Paatiya’.

Each step in the process of Bagru Print is performed very carefully with the help of highly skilled craftsmen.

Washing the Fabric

First and foremost, the fabric used for block printing must first be washed, soaked for up to 48 hours, and dried out in the sun before the design process begins. 

Carving Teak Wood

Then, a block print artisan, also known as ‘Chhipa’ carefully carves handcrafted designs into teakwood. These designs often consist of motifs inspired by local flora and fauna, animals, or religion.

Dyeing the Wooden Blocks

Afterwards, the block is handed off to ‘Rangrez’ who dip the wood stamps in traditionally natural dyes and places the pattern onto woven fabric.

Final Washing for End Print

Finally, the process is taken over by washers or ‘Dhobi’ who capably wash the fabric, ensuring that the colours have set and the fabric is ready for market, manufacturing, or purchase.

Interesting Facts:

  • Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, on rare occasions, would make a public appearance, the Chippas would swell with pride when they would see the king donning a pagdi, bold patterns marking it as a creation of their own.
  • For Bagru Printing: The reds for the dyes are made from fitkari (alum), madder root and babul gond and the blacks are made with syahi.
  • The wood used for Bagru Print is seasoned Sagwan, Rohida or Sheesham wood.
  • One block used for Bagru Print lasts for a maximum of 800- 1000mts. of fabric. 
  • Main patterns carved on the blocks are:

1)       PATASHI with its tiny floral designs of buds, leaves and stems.

2)       JHAD with its interviewing tendrils and distinctive border lines.

3)       HATHI- the elephant

You can now shop for beautiful block printed Bagru dresses, night wear, casual and formal wear at UNBLOCK By Jenny- Your ONE STOP SHOP for unique designs with a touch of tradition.

First time customer, use code UNBLOCK5 to avail 5% Discount


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