Bagh print is one of the famous hand blocks printing craft of India, practiced in tribal village “Bagh” situated at the banks of Baghini River. Minerals found in the Baghini river water gave natural color more vibrancy and increase its fastness. Due to its local specialty it got geographical indicated brand status in the year 2009. Some 400 years ago few families migrated from Sindh province in today’s Pakistan to Manavar and then Bagh. National awardee late Ismail Sulemanji Khatri made this art of hand blocks printing famous by experimenting with urban outfits and variety of designs. Before 1960 hand block printers from Bagh were known as alizarin printers because of use of alizarin in the printing and dying process but today they are famous as Bagh printers due to geographical uniqueness associated with the craft. In 2009 it got geographical indication from the government of India.
Traditionally a combination of buta (flower) and buti (small flower) pattern is used in Bagh prints but today EcoFab introduced other design patterns in this craft. Bagh print is basically a kind of alizarin & direct hand block printing practiced in various parts of India including Rajasthan and Gujarat. In this craft of hand block printing alizarin (Natural chemical extracted from madder roots) also a rich source of red dye is used to fix red and black color printed on cotton or silk using wooden blocks.
Basically two vegetable colours used in printing are red and black. To print red colour alum is used to prepare a liquid by boiling it in water. Black colour is prepared by keeping corrosion of iron with jaggery solution in a pot for 10-15 days. Now a day readily available “Kashish” made from iron rust is also used to increase the fastness of black color.
Sometimes khakhi color evolved in printing by processing black color with harada powder (Myrobalan) and golden yellow by processing with caustic soda but these two colors can’t be dyed. Bagh printing requires 12-15 days to produce a lot of 300 meters fabric.
Specialty of Bagh hand block printing
- It is using the same hand block printing process it was practiced 400 years ago with minute changes
- Apart from red and black color in vegetable printing, in Bagh one new color known as uker introduced in printing with 2 color shades khaki and golden yellow
- Use of vegetable colors in printing and ecofriendly dyes
- Vibrancy of red color in printing
- EcoFab introduced few herbal dyes in this area made up of Parijaat flower for yellow color, Madder roots for pink and eucalyptus bark and petals for light brown & many more in process.