“Bagru, a small village town in Rajasthan, is situated at a distance of 32 kms. east of Jaipur city. Its traditional processes of hand block printing on textiles with rich natural colors have been known for many centuries. With the attraction of foreign buyers for the traditional hand printed textiles, this village hum with much activity today, supplying exquisite printed materials for the export trade.
The hand printers, known as chhipas, came from Sawai Madhopur, Alwar, Jhunjhunu and Sikkar districts of Rajasthan to settle in Bagru and make it their home some 300 years ago. According to a legend, at the very outset, some two families of chhipas were brought by the Thakur of Bagru to settle in Bagru from Isarda, a village four miles from Jaipur and from then on migration of more families of chhipas continued from different places”
– Block Printing and Dyeing of Bagru, Rajasthan by Bijoy Chandra Mohanty and Jagadish Prasad Mohanty
The Bagru prints in the past these prints were essentially used by the local community. Color and motif often denotes caste, community and marital status.
These prints traditionally were in combinations of deep red, iron black and indigo blue highlighted with green and yellow, and mud-resist used to conserve areas of white ground. In building up patterns, geometrical forms were adopted along with floral, animal and bird motifs.
Even though the traditional printing processes of bleaching resist and color printing and dyeing have continued, many of the natural ingredients have been substituted with chemicals, though some craftsmen still use the original methods. Despite the simplicity of motif and limited color palette, the earthy quality of Bagru prints continues to appeal.