Bagh block print is an Indian handicraft practised originally in Bagh, Dhar district, Madhya Pradesh. It is a traditional hand block print done with natural colours. Its name owes to the settlement of Bagh, which is located on the banks of the Bagh River. This popular textile print features repeated geometric and floral compositions in colours of red and black on a white base fabric.
When the Muslim Khatris relocated from Manawar to Bagh in 1962, they introduced the Bagh print, as it is currently called in Madhya Pradesh. They brought their traditional art along with them and practised it at their new location. However, due to changes that occurred in the printing style to fit local trends and habits, this came to be known as Bagh block printing. Below goes some important details about the manufacturing, designing, styling, and evolution of Bagh printed textiles and clothing materials.
Process of Manufacture
The basic components used to produce Bagh prints include cotton or silk fabric, natural dyes, and wooden blocks. Cotton is easily accessible in Indore's surrounding marketplaces. Alternatively, the towns of ‘Maheshwar' and ‘Chanderi' sell silk-by-cotton fabric. To create clothing materials, ‘Cambric' cloth is acquired from Mumbai, while ‘Mulmul' fabric is sourced from ‘Bhiwandi' town. Silk textile materials such as 'georgette,' 'crepe,' and 'chiffon' are sourced from Indore and Mumbai. The cities of ‘Raigarh' and ‘Bhopal' produce ‘Tussar' silk. Finally, Delhi is where ‘Dhaka Jute' is acquired from. After arranging the base fabric, the cloth is soaked in hot water, raw salt, and goat faeces to begin the process. This step is responsible for the fabric's faint yellow colour. The cloth is then cleaned, stretched out, and air-dried. The typical red colour of the Bagh print is then extracted by soaking and boiling alum and tamarind seeds in an enormous copper pot.
After the printing process is completed, the fabric is dried, treated again in Baghini's flowing waters, and finally boiled in a mixture containing alizarin, dhavdi flowers, and herbs like harra.
Motifs and Patterns
Bagh printing entails carving motifs that depict flora, such as Jasmine, Mushroom, Lehariya, and so on, into blocks. Some of the prints were inspired by jaali work that adorns the Taj Mahal and numerous other forts. Landscapes and geometrical figures are additional sources of inspiration. The designs depict diverse moods in the form of the prints, which is what makes Bagh prints so appealing.
Behind the Fabric: Faces
Bagh region is where Bagh block printing originated and is still carried out. It is primarily governed and run by five Muslim Khatri families from Bagh, who are also the owners of the Bagh industrial plants. The craftsmen that work in these factories come from a variety of communities and backgrounds, including Teli, Bhillala, Bhil, and Rajput. The floral and geometrical designs and the blocks for Bagh printing are expertly made by block manufacturers in Pethapur, Gujarat. They have earned experience over several years and are experts in their task of printing. Although belonging to humble backgrounds, they are some of the most talented artists in India.
Situation in the Present
Bagh prints have widespread popularity in the Indian subcontinent, owing to the material's comfort and softness. Bedspreads, table covers, pillow covers, runners, women's suits and sarees, mats, dupattas, kurtas, skirts, and dresses are just a few examples of Bagh printed items that are widely sold. Bagh printers are now using a variety of fashionable and modern patterns to suit the taste of the modern-day population.
Also, various materials, such as Silk, Crepe, and Tussar are used besides cotton for making Bagh printed textiles. This unique block printing legacy may have been lost if it hadn't been for the Khatris' efforts, who have taught and motivated over a thousand people to take up the trade. Top fashion designers are now looking for Bagh block prints. The style-conscious buyers are also intending to make a statement with Bagh block print sarees. Among the various sellers of Bagh printed textiles, House of Elegance is a renowned brand which sells multifarious contemporary Bagh-printed commodities, starting from suits to bedsheets.
Before being dispatched to the market, Bagh printed textiles are cleaned three times. Colour does not seep from the cloth. Nonetheless, it is recommended by most manufacturers to dry clean the Bagh printed clothes the first time. It is easy to maintain and requires no special care. A light wash will be good enough to maintain Bagh printed textiles for a long period.
Bagh fabrics are often made of cotton and are quite soft. These are a year-round staple since they are suitable in all seasons and conditions. Bagh printing has received a lot of worldwide attention as a result of its environment-friendly production technique. The comfort that Bagh print sarees impart makes them wearable on any occasion.
For purchasing the best Bagh block print apparels and ethnic wears, you can visit the official website of the House of Elegance. They specialize in Bagh printed textiles, giving each and every piece of cloth a unique touch. Their clothing and other textiles are hand printed, investing several months to bring out the perfection and uniqueness. The Bagh printed bedspreads, sarees, suits, pillow covers, etc. sold by the House of Elegance are dyed in organic colours, which are durable and skin-friendly.
Their exclusive and vivid designs are a strong and dramatic declaration of India’s cultural history. The vibrant colours and shapes on Bagh block print sarees and dupattas by the House of Elegance make it suitable for every formal and informal occasions, such as various meetings and social gatherings. Intending to bring back the ancient Bagh block prints in demand, House of Elegance is the ideal stop for handloom and Hand block printed products.