Wooden Block Making for Hand Printing

Wooden Block Making for Hand Printing

Hand-block printing on textiles is practised all over India, with each region having evolved its own technique(s), style(s), design patterns, and distinctive colours. The one aspect that remains constant, however, is the use of hand-blocks for printing. Pethapur in Gujarat has long been an important centre for hand-block making. In Rajasthan the main centre is in Jaipur and the designs are carved on sagon wood. These block-makers are hereditary craftspersons who trace their descent from the Shia Muslims of Persia who settled here many centuries ago. Pilakhuwa in Uttar Pradesh is another important centre for block-making. Here the block- makers specialise in making brass blocks that are used for outline printing. Unfortunately due to the rising demand for mill-printed fabrics many traditional block-makers are having to find alternative uses for their carving skills. One of the areas into which they are expanding is the making of boxes and other wood products that are intricately carved and inlaid with metal.

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