Beautifully and precisely block-printed on cloth are delicate floral designs in calming colours. This is the reason Sanganeri prints are so well-known throughout the world. Did you know that the British East India Company has credit with making a significant export of these textiles during its heyday?
The Rajasthani village of Sanganer, which is adjacent to Jaipur, is still a major centre for block-printed textiles, carrying on a more than 200-year-old heritage. This is so famous that even today’s digital print and its popularity doesn’t affect it.
Sanganeri block-print textiles have a unique charm and are one of the most well-known Rajasthani textile traditions thanks to their magnificent fusion of talent, technique, practises, and designs.
Their uniqueness in a region famous for its artistic and craft cultures in paintings such Phad and Pichhwai, ceramic crafts such Blue Pottery, narrative in Kathputli and Kavad, and perhaps other textile customs like Leheriya and Bandhani—can be involve to estimate their appeal.
A Brief Overview And History
Block printing has been a tradition in India since ancient times. The Harappan culture, which lived 4,000 years ago, is where the Ajrakh of Sindh or Kutch gets its roots from. But Sanganer block printmaking is thought to start during the 16th or 17th century CE. About 13 kilometres separate Sanganer from Jaipur. You may still see colorful clothes outside of house to air in some of the city’s alleyways and nooks if you take a stroll through it.
In addition to its well-known textiles, Sanganer is renowned for its Jain temples and handcrafted paper industry. Apart from this, the river which in the past passed through the region also made it suitable for printing.
How Sanganeri Print Originated
According to legend, the practice of block printing in the area thrived in the 18th century CE under the sponsorship of Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh I, who created and gave the name Jaipur to the newly Kachhwaha clan headquarters in 1727 CE. a supporter of architecture and the culture. Jai Singh reportedly recruited artisans and craftspeople from all over India to establish shops in downtown in order to build Jaipur as a bustling centre of international commerce. Several of the handicrafts that are still in existence today belong to their roots in this period.
The same would be true of Sanganeri fabrics, which Jai Singh is known to have greatly favoured. According to legend, craftsmen skilled in block printing from Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh were called to Sanganer. Some people today may still trace their heritage back to Gujarati cotton makers.
Additionally, some academics contend that during the social and political revolutions of the 17th and 18th centuries CE, residents of what are now Gujarat and Maharashtra moved to Rajasthan and other Northern Indian states because they were comparably safer. Their artistic creations added to the great mixture the area had come to be known for.
The Chhipa village is home to the artists that conduct block printing in Sanganer. Rangrez are dyers, while dhobis are washers. The Chipas are primarily Hindus who are said to follow a saint named Saint Namdev.
The Process of Block Printing
There are several processes involve in creating a block-printed cloth. First, the fabric should have print, that is generally cotton, get pre treatment with a bleach solution. It get rinse off after getting treatment. It is then keep to dry. Historically, white was by far the most popular backdrop colour for printing, although numerous colours are now involve as the basis for printing.
For this, the textiles get color. Previously, only natural dyes were usable, and artists still use materials such as iron rusting for black and red chalk for red. Red, black, and brown were once the most popular Sanganeri block-printing colours. Chemical pigments are also involve nowadays.
After dyeing, the fabric keep to fix on a large table for stamping or chhapai. For printing motifs on cloth, carved wooden blocks involve in process. An artist employs a tray containing dyes.
He first colourizes the block on just this tray before stamping it on the cloth. A variety of blocks may be use to finish a single layout since each comprises a different aspect of a particular symbol.
In a flower print, for instance, the petals may be engrave on one block and the stalk on another, but together they create the flower pattern. The number of blocks used in the structure is also rely on the quantity of colours in the design.
Calico printing and Do Rookhi (Two Sided) are two popular printing techniques in Sanganer.
Calico style meant by filling colours in outline and then in space. Do rookhi means printing on both sides of the material.
Regardless of the colourants, the cloth is either get spray of chemical liquids or let to dry to keep and show the colour. The dry cloth is then get clean and dry before being ready for sewing.
Motifs And Designs
Floral and natural designs predominate in Sanganeri textile themes. In fact, they’ve become a trademark feature of these lovely textiles. Butas or butis are the names to these patterns. A variety of classic paisleys, flowers, foliage, and birds are usable. These themes derives from Mughal patterns, as the Jaipur court had a strong relationship with the Mughals.
Beside its beauty and demand in the market, sanganeri print also has its own challenges. Various craftsmen and artists shift to screen printing due to its complex nature of process. Natural dye is still usable but some artists are using colour acquisition for pigmentation. But to promote local fabric manufacturers at a global level, companies like Fabriclore is sourcing fabric from these craftsmen. You can buy beautiful handblock sanganeri prints from here and get a number of varieties to explore.