Block Printing – an age old technique of pattern forming on a base fabric is one of the most therapeutic processes to watch and physically make. Over the years several methods have evolved – mud-resist, discharge printing, wax resist, batik.
The base process is about making a design on a given fabric, similar to making a painting on a blank canvas!
The blocks are made with durable wood, mostly teak, and patterns/designs can vary from a single block to double block to several depending on the complexity of the pattern and design. Block carvers are highly skilled and it years of practice to learn, innovate and create ever-evolving patterns.
Single colour printing is the most commonly practiced technique and the least expensive. Cost of the end-product varies with the type of material, number of blocks used, colour quality (chemical, azo free, vatdyed, natural dyes)
Whatever may be the process, it takes a lot of practice and specialized skill to be able to print rhythmically!
Block printing is practiced in many regions and are known by their unique nomenclatures like Kalamkari, Bagru, Sanganeri, etc.