Block prints and the cotton fabric are made for each other. Finer the cotton weave better is the outcome of the block printing, because cotton is known for its good adhesion qualities. Kota handloom cotton, an established name in fine cotton fabrics, known for its good texture and the unique checkered pattern appearing in the natural weave, makes for a good fabric to display unique experiments with the hand block.
A new range of Kota Handloom cotton sarees from Unnati Silks
Not so long back, Unnati Silks conducted an experiment in block prints with a slight variation with the help of expert ethnic practitioners of the Kota weave. Usually the hand block printing is done with fine carved hand blocks made of quality wood. The quality of prints that come out are sharp in the detail, however complex the design may be if the etching in the bottom surface of the wooden block is done finely. This time round the blocks used have been of finely cut metal with a sieve for colors arrangement. And the results have been astounding.
- The edges are so distinctly visible and the outlines so sharp on the outside and even within the detailing that it is a feast for the eyes.
- The arrangement for the colors to be transferred to the fabric has worked extraordinarily well allowing no scope for any sort of color spread or smudging.
- The use of different colors within a motif, or closely placed design elements of different colors have come out distinct and even.
- The overall effect is simply awesome to the delight of the wearer and a captivating sight for onlookers.
What is on display?
The Kota handloom cotton weave has been a good choice as a fabric for the special block printing.
- The theme in general is floral with variations in the way it is presented on the body or field. You could have the flowery pattern spread with the green stem and the colored flower petals in a nice contrast but neatly decorating the fabric as motifs in arrays like flower beds in a garden.
- The stalk with petals on either side forms a good complement by adorning the border. The pallu or end piece has a special fill by way of arrangement of the motifs, some increased in size and additionally some geometrical shapes and other floral designs that make it noticeable.
- On the body the flower beds array are so neatly tiered that it is a feast for the eyes.
- The colors adopted for the flower petals and the stem portion are in nice contrast like in nature.
- There are some sarees where the color contrast in the theme is achieved through the light and dark shades of the same colour.
- The overall allure comes from the simple but neat arrangements in contrasting colors of judicious selection.
- And the initial reactions from the market had been better than expectations.
Block prints when they initially came to be known revolutionized the concept of printing. Easily manoeuvrable, wieldy, precise and a task that did not require too much skill and completed quickly, the process appealed that much more could be achieved by way of this simple technique than by the use of automated processes within the limitations.
Very small detailing can be etched and preserved in the block by special provisions. So small stars and very minute designs otherwise not possible, are available for the beautification of the fabric. Flowers, fruits, trees, birds, geometrical designs and figurative patterns are some of the popular motifs in block printed sarees.
The heart of hand block prints lies in the wooden / steel blocks created for the purpose.
When large masses of colour occur in a pattern, the corresponding parts on the block are usually cut in outline, the object being filled in between the outlines with felt, which not only absorbs the colour better, but gives a much more even impression than it is possible to obtain with a large surface of wood. When finished, the block presents the appearance of flat relief carving, the design standing out like letterpress type.
The Kota Handloom has always been a fabric with tremendous scope for experimentation and over time it has displayed some very amazing results. Do explore this lot and check out for yourself.
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