Fashion

Sanganeri Print: A Journey into Timeless Indian Block Artistry

Exposing The History Of Sanganeri Printing

Sanganeri printing, a timeless art form with a history spanning five centuries, has a fascinating story. This peculiar printing style, which emerged between the 16th and 17th centuries, originated in Sanganer, Rajasthan. The stormy years of the Mughal-Maratha wars forced experienced artisans to migrate, and it was in Sanganer that this distinct kind of printing thrived. The enticing hues and designs grew so popular that they became a major export for the East India Company.

Traditional Learning and Unique Dyes of Sanganeri Printing

Artisans typically learnt the skill of Sanganeri printing by observation, with minimum formal training. Sanganeri prints, which focus on natural motifs, use dye sourced from natural sources, including insects for red and purple colours. Colour nomenclature deviated from traditional names, with terms like as Kasumal and Toru Phooli being widely used.

Crafting Sanganeri Masterpieces: Tools of the Trade

Wooden Blocks: A Symphony of Teak and Sheesham

To create the gorgeous Sanganeri print on fabric, artists typically use blocks with carved designs. Teak or Sheesham wood blocks play an important function. Rekha, utilised for outlines, and Datta, the filler blocks, are essential components. The hardwood block undergoes a thorough process, from cutting the design to soaking for two weeks, assuring even color transfer. Wooden blocks, which have a printing lifespan of around 800 metres, give delicacy to the work.

Source :Pinterest

Metal Blocks: Intricacy Redefined

Metal blocks are used to create elaborate patterns and delicate detailing. Thin strips of metal hammered into a wooden block produce intricate motifs. Metal blocks outlast their wooden counterparts, although taking more time. The combination of wooden and metal blocks in various shapes and sizes enables artists to create a wide range of Sanganeri print shirts.

Source :Pinterest

Essential Tools in the Sanganeri Arsenal

Apart from design blocks, several tools contribute to the Sanganeri printing process:

  • Pins: Secure cloth evenly on the table.
  • Printing Table: Provides a smooth surface for uniform printing.
  • Wooden Tray with Bamboo Lattice: Ensures even color distribution.
  • Chalk and Scale: Mark areas for printing, ensuring uniformity.
  • Brushes: Maintain clean blocks for sharp prints.
  • Woolen Cloth: Prevents color seepage into the wooden tray.
  • Trolley Tray: Facilitates mobility for the artisan.
  • Natural/Vegetable Dyes: Extracted from fruits and vegetables for vibrant hues.

The Artistic Journey: Process of Sanganeri Printing

Hari Sarana: Cleansing for Vibrancy

Before printing, the fabric is subjected to Hari Sarana, a cleaning procedure that removes dirt and dust. This step ensures bright prints by immersing them in a bleach and water solution before washing them with boiling water.

Marking: Precision for Perfection

Post-Hari Sarana, the cloth is chalked with chalk and scale to aid in block placement during printing.

Printing (Chapaai): Wooden and Metal Blocks in Action

The Chapaai, or printing method, uses wooden or metal blocks. The cloth is printed from left to right, with one block representing each hue. Specific points aid the artist in creating repetitive motifs.

Drying (Sukhaai): Securing the Colors

The drying process is critical for pigmented dyes since it provides color fixation. Plastic or newspaper covers prevent color transfer, ensuring vibrancy.

Washing (Dhulaai): Final Color Fixation

The final phase requires exclusive boilers and steaming to secure the color into the fabric.

Diving into Sanganeri Designs

Sanganeri designs are distinguished by intricate details and precise lines, and often incorporate traditional symbols such as flowers, paisley, and birds. Modern patterns, such as geometrical and religious symbols, have made their way into this magnificent art form.

The Palette of Sanganeri Colors

While synthetic dyes currently dominate the Sanganeri printing landscape, the original process used natural dyes. These dyes, derived from turmeric, indigo, and rust iron, produced rich, long-lasting colors. Chemical dyes, while more versatile, represented a departure from the time-consuming and costly natural dye process.

Exploring Synthetic Dyes:

  • Discharge Dyes: Ideal for dark backgrounds, creating vivid patterns with chemical reactions.
  • Pigment Dyes: Versatile and easily mixed to produce new colors, offering color permanence.
  • Reactive Dyes: Chemical reactions create new colors, providing a complex yet limited option.
  • Rapid Fast Colours: Challenging to store, used in a single seating for a swift printing process.

Techniques that Define Sanganeri Printing

The intricate Sanganeri printing method employs a variety of processes, each adding to the art’s distinctiveness.

Direct Method:

Dyed blocks are placed directly on the material, transmitting the design in the appropriate shape and color.

Resist Method:

The cloth is covered in clay, resins, or wax, which prevents natural dye from soaking in.

Discharge Method:

Bleach is used during reprinting to remove certain patterns from the material.

Rogan Method:

Previously reserved for royalty, this procedure involves printing outlines on cloth and covering them with gold. Modern improvements have increased its accessibility.

A huge printing table, wooden cart, and a thorough process ensure that the pattern is evenly transferred onto the fabric.

Sanganeri Prints in the Modern World

The appeal of Sanganeri prints has spread to current fashion, with men’s Sanganeri printed shirts becoming increasingly popular. With an internet presence, people may easily discover and purchase these artistic works.

Finally, Sanganeri printing exemplifies eternal workmanship by combining tradition and contemporary in a beautiful tapestry of colors and motifs.

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