Product: Traditional borsali design hand block print saree
Technique: Alizarin print (Tarapur)
Fabric: Mal Cotton
Body is printed with traditional Borsali design and Pallu is printed with Fetiya designs popular among tribal of Rajasthan.
“Borsali” is a very famous design printed by hand block printers of Tarapur among the tribal of Madhya Pradesh & Rajasthan and used for Odhni (Shawl) only. Whenever you visit tribal area of Ratlam & Banswada you will find tribal women wearing a shawl of specific design known as “Borsali”.
“Borsali” is a very popular traditional design printed on the “Odhani” (Shawl) wore by tribal women of Ratlam district in Madhya Pradesh & Banswada district of Rajasthan. Borsali also known as “Bhindi” (Lady Finger) bhat (Design) as told by local veteran craftsman Akram Bhai working under the Master Craftsman Pawan Jhariya in Tarapur. The reason behind calling it “Bhindi” is because this design looks like the same when we cut the lady finger.
“Borsali” is a Gujarati name of a tree of herbal importance. It is known as “Bakula” in Hindi and common name is Bullet tree and Bakul. Interestingly the flower and fruit of Borsali or Bakul tree looks like that Borsali design is inspired from it.
Traditional hand block printers were very close to the nature and took inspiration from it whether it is matter of design or color. Today’s generation of traditional hand block printers also strives to keep alive the same tradition with limited scope.
Alizarin Print (Tarapur Village)
Vegetable hand block printing is practiced in very few places in India, and Tarapur is one of such village of Madhya Pradesh. They are still using “Kath” (Vegetable black color) using jiggery powder and iron rust instead of “kashish” (Readymade vegetable black color) now commonly used to prepare black color. It is a very small village situated on the banks of “Ghambhiri” river having population of 3000 to 4000. Tarapur is 270 kilometers away from Indore the industrial capital of Madhya Pradesh. For red color first alum as mordant is printed using tamarind seed powder paste and then dyed with alizarin. Now a day synthetic alizarin is used unlike 50 years ago roots of morinda tinctoria were used.
“Chippa” community is practicing the craft of hand block printing in Tarapur since 400 years, who claims to belong to the lineage of Sant Namdev, a famous saint of “Bhakti Tradition” in India. 10-15 years back some 30-40 families of “Chippa community” were involved in this craft restricted to the 3-4 families today. It’s all due to tough competition from the chemical screen printing and imitating of designs by machine printers selling it at cheaper prices than hand block printing. But they are still following the traditional methods in preparing the fabrics using semi-vegetable colors.