A traditional craft of modern times

Fabriclore Retail

Wednesday 13, 2016
A Traditional Craft of Modern Times

 

When it comes to native fashion of India, Rajasthan is one of most influential foundry of inspiration for all modern day designers. So much of modern day Indian ethnic design traces its roots in Rajasthan, yet not many are aware of its other art forms that continue to put their subtle imprint across modern casual cloth applications.

Indigo Print hailing from Bagru, Rajasthan is one such art that has been timelessly finding contemporary adaptation not just in attire but also in furnishings. Dwelling 50 thousand folks, Bagru town is 40 km away from Jaipur, the ever enchanting heritage city and capital of Rajasthan. Hand block printing is the prime cultural and economic identity of this folk town.

Today Bagru carries its own name as the identifying brand, representing this traditional art, thriving well amongst coeval enthusiasts of printed fabrics. Bagru has also produced a couple of branches of this art commonly referred Indigo Printing, Bagru Prints, Bagru Dabu while Indigo printing gets the most of the pie.

HISTORY OF INDIGO

The Blue Gold as often referred during British Raj, Indigo cultivation for trade has its history dating back to 17th century when entire Europe was smitten by this ethereal shade. By the advent of 18th century, 95% of Indigo exported in Britain was coming from savaging atrocities inflicted upon peasants in India who were mercilessly bullied to cultivate Indigo plant leaving the mass of rich farmland land sterile.

Over centuries, the demand inspired chemical companies to figure better processes of Indigo production while the niche charm of Indigo Print art continues to enrich lives of artisans of this craft.

INDIGO BLOCK PRINTING - THE JEWEL OF THE BLUE GOLD

1. Ink Information

One of the most crucial aspect in the formation of the indigo fabric is to create an ink in which wooden blocks can be dipped. This involves creating a formula that turns all the patterns white when dipped in Indigo. Bran from Wheat, Gond (Edible gum) from trees, Limestone and clay are first mixed impeccably and then sieved to the minutest bits. This creates a slurry for printing.

2. Hand Block Printing

Wooden block carved with a particular design is dipped in the ink and printed on a white cotton sheet. This purely manual work requires much precision and speed as once the block is printed, it cannot be undone. For the pattern to not stick to each other, saw dust is sprinkled on it and then left to dry for a day.

3. Blue Dye

The dried pattern on the white cotton sheet is then repeatedly dipped in Indigo dye which turns the white sheet into a royal blue and the block prints a pearly white. This is then left to dry and voila! Exquisite hand block indigo fabrics are made !

This traditional art has been an indispensable part of the Bagru community. Men, women, children all dedicate their entire lives making Indigo prints. It’s not just a profession to earn money, it’s the sum total of their life, day in and out.

INDIGO IN MODERN TIMES

It’s no less than incredible that Indigo Prints just don’t find themselves out of vogue right from the 18th century until the 21st century. Almost everything across attire and furnishing just loves indigo blended in all contemporary designs. Indigo block print fabrics are sublime, modishly versatile and everyone loves them.

We at Fabriclore find ourselves getting more of these every day and just can’t stop growing our widest range of Indigo prints. What more ! we have armed away from Bagru and can relentlessly fulfil your Indigo appetite. So whatever your sartorial senses are craving for, Indigo is the ingredient you should be looking for right here for the Indigo collection.

We also happen to be a magnet for suggestions, and would love to catch yours….throw us yours on hello@fabriclore.com
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