Our Fabrics

HandBlock Printing

History

Our HandBlock Printed fabrics originate from Sanganer region of Jaipur India. Block printing is an ancient Indian heritage craft practiced by highly skilled artisans in the Jaipur region.

India has been renowned for its printed and dyed cotton cloth since the 12th century and the craft flourished as the fabric received royal patronage. Centers such as Sanganer in Rajasthan rose to prominence in the 18th century.

The “Chhipa” community who is largely engaged in this traditional craft has settled here from various parts of Northern and Western India. They have gracefully carried forward this traditional art form over successive generations.

Process

A print starts with the design drawn on paper and then hand-carved into seasoned teak wood by trained craftsmen. Each block has the design for an individual repeat which is then manually stamped in rows across the fabric. Each color in the design has its own block. These hand-carved block are used to imprint the design onto the fabric. The imprinting is done by hand by a skilled block printer.

Sanganer Block printing utilizes AZO free, eco-friendly synthetic colors as compared to the traditional Bagru style block printing which uses plant-based dyes.

Sustainability

As is the case with many other artisanal crafts in India, block printing is being replaced by screen and digital printing — faster, mechanized forms of garment production — and the influx of low cost textiles.

Block-printing is not only an environmentally positive approach to textile production in rural India, but also source of income to many village families. Although traditionally, men have been the printing masters, women also are becoming skilled printers in recent years. Thereby increasing income and standard of living for a family.

Crafts in rural communities sustains families, allows children to gain education and breathes life into a heritage that is over 4,000 years old.

Namrita Chettiar strives to work towards enabling and sustainability of these heritage Crafts.