Dabu Print is one of the resist printing styles of hand block printing practiced in various parts of India. A paste comprises of gum, black soil and lime used to print on clothes by wooden blocks then dipped it in Indigo blue dye vessel known as Indigo maat. The paste works as a resist but while dipping it into the indigo dye tank somehow indigo dye penetrates the paste and creates a beautiful crackle effect.
Tarapur village of Madhya Pradesh is one of such village where Indigo dye practiced since last few centuries.
Due to use of indigo as a primary dye, today Dabu is synonymous with Indigo color (Indigo dye is extracted from Indigofera tinctoria plant, an indigenous plant to India and Asia). Indigo was used widely in Dabu hand block printing because it was only known natural cold dye. Due to increasing demand and love for indigo color worldwide among customers it was prepared in lab synthetically. Today natural Indigo is seldom used in Dabu printing due to its high cost and lack of availability.