Among the wide range of decorative techniques perfected by Indian craftsmen probably the tradition of stamping textiles with wooden and metal blocks and dyeing them using natural dyes and organic processes is the most fascinating.
On the Beauty Unwound Textile Tour, we get an opportunity to have close encounters with craftspersons engaged in creating two beautiful yet distinct styles of block printing in two different parts of the country.
A village in the western state of Gujarat is home to the oldest tradition of block printing known as Ajrakh. Ajrakh is resist dyed and block printed by the Khatri community using natural indigo and madder and is distinguished by its colours blue and red. Ajarkh is characterised by complex geometrical and floral patterns. It takes great skill and patience to create Ajrakh with 14-16 different stages of dying and printing which takes 14-21 days to complete. The finished product is soft and jewel-like in appearance.
The Chippa community in Bagru near Jaipur in Rajasthan practice another technique of printing with natural colours known as Bagru and Daabu. The printing is generally done on an indigo background both with direct blocking and with the use of a special mud resist technique known as Daabu. The motifs are inspired by nature and have organic forms.
Nature plays a very important role in the making of both Ajrakh and Bagru prints. It is wonderful to see the craftspersons working in total harmony with their environment where the sun, water, earth, the flora, and fauna are all partners in the creation of these fabulous textiles.
Come and see what people are raving about! Beauty Unwound Textile Tour runs every February and November. For more information, visit the website – www.touchofspirittours.com.au or email – firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call 1300 722 932. Like Touch of Spirit Tours on facebook at www.facebook.com/TouchOfSpiritTours/ and follow on Instagram @touchofspirittours