The world of handloom fabrics is an exciting place to explore always. There is much discovered, a lot more to come by, given the immense possibilities from a judicious combination of patterns, prints, designs and a host of other factors that do not ever allow handlooms to be boring.
One of the many, the Jaipuri Prints are an offering from the land of the exotic – Rajasthan. Rife with unlimited possibilities, explored quite deep since a long time, the Jaipuri Prints have with their special appeal never failed to amaze. Time-tested and full of variety, these Rajasthan handloom sarees have tapped various traditional block printing techniques in the process of churning out exquisite creations.
Block printing, tie and dye, Napthol block prints, Bagru prints, Dabu prints, Bandhini Leheria prints that are part of the traditional heritage art forms of Rajasthan, they churn out lovely creations on a range of fine yarn fabrics like silk, cotton, art silk, Sico in the most vibrant of colours. The fusion of ethnic patterns with modern designs, the blend of traditional motifs with modern floral art, the use of exquisite embroidery and other finery in novel ways, speak about the spirit of the Jaipuri prints showcasing traditional methods seamlessly woven and displayed in a modern setting. Jaipuri prints are available both as handloom creations as well as machine made fabrics.
The Jaipuri prints from Unnati Silks
Jaipuri Prints go fine on cottons and it is universally acknowledged that the fine translucent Malmal weaves are the finest canvases to showcase novel and unique designs especially in prints. That is why one can hardly expect experimentation of classy Jaipuri prints to go awry on the extraordinarily fine Malmal cottons.
Soft, fluffy and of good texture with good strength, the luster of the Malmal cotton is almost as good as that of a silk saree. Cotton with its good affinity for dyes makes the designs stand out sharp, distinct and vividly colourful, the fine counts help in bringing out a number of exquisite designs and patterns very well on the Malmal sarees.
The Jaipuri printed sarees brought out through the traditional processes of Bagru and Dabu have a unique stamp of earthy hues and that of substances found in nature. Red, blue, black, white (created through the absence of color) brown, pale green etc. are the generally obtained hues. Yet because there is a variety of designs and patterns created from imaginative placing on the canvas and the weave texture is good, the resulting appearance is nothing short of attractive.
Consider especially the striking section of black and white in the Bagru Malmal printed section. The designs that are chosen, the distribution of bootis on the large expanse of the field, the sharp contrast of black on white are mesmerizing. Not to mention the pallu portion with its block printed arrays the offerings are nothing short of devastating. The wearer would be the focus of all attention.
The red, blue and brown Bagru offerings are due to the use of natural substances also and the block printing brings out the colors vividly and in fine detail.
The Dabu section also makes use of natural substances. The mud resist process and subsequent washes (several in fact) make the fabric fairly lustrous and vibrant. That is why the red appears as bright brick red, the blue deep and the green pale but eye-catching.
It is a fine display of traditional printing techniques.
Dabu – a traditional art and an elaborate process that gets exceptional results from mud-resist hand-block printing, that is practiced in certain pockets of Rajasthan, India. The appearance of these fabrics is unique for the brilliant floral and thematic patterns in sharp and finely detailed prints of bright and well-chosen hues & designs. The highlight of Dabu printed fabrics is the use of organic colours and vegetable pastes which are eco-friendly, skin-friendly, fast, and retain their brilliance for most of the lifetime of the fabric.
Bagru – Famous technique, it is considered the backbone of traditional hand block printed fabrics. A unique craft in block printing, Bagru has its own distinct character and historically it was once produced exclusively for royalty and offerings in temples. This traditional art despite the passage of time has retained its original character and is less influenced by the popular market and advent of the cheaper power loom products.
Block printing – Block printing is making use of a carved piece of wood or any other type of wooden block to imprint an image on fabric or paper. It has simplicity and ease of execution. There is the sharpness, accuracy and fine detailing of prints made on the fabrics. The huge possibilities of match and mix of different block designs in various colors on the same fabric as in large canvas fabrics like the saree is stupendous. A large number of wooden blocks are always kept in readiness for use based on the intended patterns and designs.
The Jaipuri Prints have been traditionally around for at least a century and a half maybe more, but there is no compromise on the quality even today. Tradition still continues as devotedly in the processing and finishing as earlier, thereby ensuring the maintenance of a quality and uniqueness in appeal, that has been its strength all these years.