Hand Block Printing – A Traditional Means for Sensational Outcomes

Hand Block printing is an art that has traditionally evolved from the rural areas of Gujarat and Rajasthan. It has reached new levels of fine printing on large canvas fabrics like the saree and salwar kameez with the aid of blocks that have designs in miniature.

12/04/2016, Hyderabad, India - The introduction of hand block printing is a revolution of sorts which offered the advantages of little effort, maneuverability, lack of wastage of colour, uniform application, multi-variant designs on the same fabric and the greatest advantage of all, miniature designs replicated sharp and distinct on the fabric.

Hand block printing is practised in India mainly for Sarees and dress materials. Hand block printing is popular on account of its simplicity and ease of execution since the prints on the Sarees are sharp, accurate and provide finely detailed results. It is still a popular way of printing in Gujarat and Rajasthan on account of the fine and intricate designs in use in those regions.

The blocks used for the printing are made of wood, well planed and smoothly flat. Made of Pear wood, plane wood or sycamore, they are two to three inches thick, of different sizes and re-inforced by two or more wood pieces of deal or pine. The different pieces or blocks are pieced together in grooves to fit snugly in each other and glued together. The fabric for the prints is laid out on flat tables and the hand block printing done.

Earlier dyes used were natural and vegetable colours. But today with synthetic dyes easily available, much cheaper comparatively and easy in usage, they are widely preferred. The construction of the hand block is filled with metal pieces to allow for very small detailing to be etched in the block. So small stars and very minute designs otherwise not possible, are available for beautification of the fabric.

The Saree is covered with intricate Butta and other motifs. Flowers, fruits, trees, birds, geometrical designs and figurative pattern are some of the popular motifs in block printed sarees. Block prints on various fabrics like pure cotton, pure silk, crepe, georgette, chiffon and super net make them look elegant.

The practitioners of hand block printing are simple folk, the outcomes of their efforts, extremely outstanding abstract patterns. In fact the ease of hand block printing allows multiple variations of design and pattern on the same saree. There are instances of 50 plus different patterns printed at varied angles in different positions and varying block sizes on the same saree.

Conventional Block Printing is the process by which designs are made on a fabric by printing them on it with the help of a large block made for that purpose. Believed to have its origin in China, block printing has been in use around the world for quite some time. Block Printing once upon a time practiced in rural hamlets on cloths like turbans, sarees, have come to see better days when the world has sat up to take notice.

Tracings were made of designs, transferred by conventional means onto the block and then using them onto make good impressions on the fabric laid out in long lengths on flat surfaces. The flat printing surface being quite large, the impressions laid side by side and correctly would result in a continuous design such as a floral landscape or a continuous geometrical pattern, the length of the saree.

The limitation of Block printing lay in a small variety of designs and patterns that the block contained that could be impressed on the fabric. Though quickly done and simple in method of doing, sufficient weight had to be applied uniformly on the block to get an even impression of the design to be transferred. Being large the dipping in colour had to be carefully done to avoid dripping and spoiling the fabric to be printed.

Today with the ease and availability of thousands of small wooden blocks with all sorts of geometrical shapes and sizes, floral and abstract designs, miniscule and miniature carve-outs, designs on fabrics through this extraordinary have infused freshness and flavor in the thousands and thousands of designs that get transferred to fine handloom weaves.

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Contact Details

Company Name: Unnati Silk Prints Pvt. Ltd
Issued By: Parineeti Lal
Phone: 040-69590000
Address: UNNATI SILK PRINTS PVT. LTD, Satyabhama Complex, Bhagyanagar Colony, Kukatpally. Hyderabad-500072, Andhra Pradesh - INDIA. 040-69590000.
City: Hyderabad
State: Telangana
Zip: 500072
Country: India
Website: Visit the website

Keywords : Hand-block printing, handloom fabrics, small wooden blocks, designs in miniature,

by Parineeti Lal (few years ago!)

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