Indian Block Printing: The Art of Handcrafted Patterns
For centuries, generations of families in small towns outside of Rajasthan's capital city, Jaipur, have handed down the skill of block printing. This beautiful art has existed since the 12th century and has remained virtually unchanged.
The handmade design is so complex and delicate that even imperfections are seen as part of the beauty of the craft. Today, I would love to talk about Block Printing including the amount of care that is given to each design and why it’s such an underappreciated art.
The Process Of Block Printing
Before a pattern can be designed, the artist chooses which kind of fabric to work with. Typically, cotton is most popular, but silk and wool are also used depending on the desired look. Once this choice has been made, the thread must be chosen since it will play an essential role in producing the design.
The next step includes drawing out the design onto the cloth. Traditionally, the design is drawn out with a pencil, and then ink applied. However, modern artists use carbon paper to transfer the pattern onto the cloth instead of drawing it by hand.
The design must then be carved onto woodblocks, called 'blocks.' The artist carves out everything that will not be part of the final pattern and leaves only the outline of what will remain when all pieces are combined together. Once this is done, colors can finally begin to be put on the fabric.
Color Plays A Role In Indian Block Printing
It is important to note that colors are not mixed. Instead, each piece of cloth has a different color, so when they are sewn together, it appears as one beautiful pattern. Typically three or four pieces will be used for this process though some artists use up to eight pieces at once.
One-color is applied to the cloth first and allowed a few minutes to dry before another piece of colored fabric is placed on top. This process goes through all pieces until they are finally sewn together, creating one large sheet.
Indian Block Printing Is Always Done By Hand
Hand painting is done because this process results in a more intricate pattern with vibrant colors appearing on top of one another, for example, yellow over red resulting in orange! This creates depth that machine printing cannot duplicate since it uses only one color at a time. The paint is also a mix of natural ingredients such as seeds, plants, flowers, and more to create the perfect color.
How To Find Block Printing In Modern Times
Block printing is an ancient art form dating back centuries. It was originally used in the Indian subcontinent for fabric and paper decoration, but now you can find block printed patterns on everything from household goods to fashion accessories. Inspired by Jaipur's intricate design tradition, Katel Home offers a range of beautifully designed home décor items, including hand-block printed pillows! You can add a portion of India's wonderfully complex beauty to your house by browsing our site today!