Tuesday, 5 August 2008
Block Printing, Sanganeri saris
Block printed saris have been created throughout India over the past few centuries, but the Western region has remained the primary area of production. The most important centres of block printing are Sanganer, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Jetpur, Rajkot, Porbandar and Bhavnagar in Gujarat.
The village of Sanganer near Jaipur has been a major centre for very fine block-cutting and printing, and has produced fine muslin saris printed on both sides of the fabric. This elaborate work needs expertly cut mirror images blocks to print the usually asymmetrical Mughal style designs. Although Sanganer is well known for producing fine block printed textiles on off white or pastel backgrounds, today a wide range of textiles are produced with both dark and pale grounds.
A strong Mughal aesthetic dominates the region's printed sari designs. Borders and end pieces consist of repeated bands of undulated twines (bel) of various sizes. Field are often covered with a repeat design varying from small simple dots or geometric shape to large complex buta and kalga.
Cloth printing blocks are usually made of 'teak' or 'seesum'. These dyes are printed on a textile by means of a relief covered block( a different block for each color). In India, the blocks are usually 23-30 cm (9-12") square in size.