Our Printing Process January 15 2013, 0 Comments
The thing that gets me the most excited when I first look at a textile, isn't the way it feels, isn't the brightness of its color or the sheen of its weave. It's the process behind it. Technique has always been an obsession of mine, and the technique of block printing is a fabulous one.
Every aspect of block printing is beautiful. From the wood block itself, which is meticulously chiseled, by an artisan who has been trained for years to prefect his craft. To the swatches of jute used to hold the pigments on which the blocks are stamped.
And what I love about block printing is it's lack of pretentiousness. It does not scream of the amount of work that is put into it's production.
Here's a little bit about the technique:
Blocks are made in a series, each block represents one color, the more colors in a print, the more blocks are made.
Once blocks are chiseled, and the pigments for a print are made and ready, a different set of artisans (the stampers) take control of the process. The stampers use the chiseled blogs to gently tap onto swatches of jute fabric which hold their respective colors. The drenched block is then tapped on the chosen, stretched fabric, until it dries.
The pressure of the tap while printing has to be of such a perfect mix of firm lightness, that it is enough evidence to differentiate an experienced stamper from another.
In a block printing workshop there can be up to two dozen stampers, each can produce a different looking fabric, even if using the same print and color, solely based on their tap.
The outcome of a block printed fabric depends on every person involved in it's making - from the designer to the block printer to the stamper. The look of a fabric can change based on any of these person's styles or moods. It is a highly sensitive process.
The perfect block printing quality is when one cannot tell where the print begins, and where it ends.
It is a beautiful technique of printing, we hope you love it as much as we do, as there are a lot of exciting prints coming your way.
Love from Jaipur,
*(images courtesy of Alfred Tarazi)