Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Bagh Prints are a type of hand block printing. This printing technology was brought to Madhya Pradesh by immigrants from Sindh. The hand block printing process requires a lot of water for treatment this made Bagh an ideal place. These print are charachterised by geometric and floral patterns. Traditionally they were done on cotton now they lavish on silk too. The colors are mostly black and red on white or neutral silk.

Mriganayanee's label says :

"Bagh prints derive their name from the small town of Bagh in Dhar district of Western Madhya Pradesh. The Bagh printers migrated from Sindh (now Pakistan) over 1000 years ago due to unconducive environment and atrocities of the rulers. Their art is deeply influenced by Sufi Saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti Aulia.

The process of 'Bagh' printing is painstakingly tedious process; a single piece of cloth undergoes various transformations over 25-30 days before it is finally ready for sale. Only natural material is used in the process. The fabric is treated by 'Khara' method where it is soaked in Sanchora (raw sea salt) non refined castor oil (Arandi ka tel) and Bakri ki mangi (goat dung) and dried three times in succession. After the final drying, it is dipped into a solution of Baheda or Harada powder. The red color for priting is made using chiya (seed) of Imli (Tamarind) mixed with phitkari (Alum). The black color is prepared using Loha (Iron fillings) and Gud (Jaggery) left together for 15-20 days. printing is done with wood blocks (Kor, Saaj, Bod, Kalam, Burra, Adiyas etc.) on cloth spread on addas (tables). The cloth is dried for 15 days then washed in flowing river water and finally boiled in water mixed with Dhawadi flowers and Alizarin (roots of Aal tree) in a Kadhav (Copper vessel)

Next time you wear a Bagh, spare a thought for the artisan whose infinite labor of love has caressed the fabric to perfection."

Here is a lovely article on the one man who revived Bagh printing, Ismail Sulemanji Khatri.Salutes to the Master Craftsmen!


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