Rajasthan, a land of warriors and craftsmen, boasts of various regions, each of which has something unique to offer to the world. Some of the offerings are so unique that they have put these regions on the world map. One such region is Sanganer. It’s an ancient town in the Jaipur district of Rajasthan, which is a renowned center for textile printing as well as handmade paper.
Earlier on, it was believed that the two most populous countries, India and China, were the first ones to practice block printing. Block Printing is an art that requires minimal equipment, and yet comes out stunningly. It’s a process of using blocks for printing bold motifs and vibrant designs on a cloth. Sanganeri Block Printing is one of the parts of this art.
A Printing History that Spans Centuries
The printing technique of Sanganer is world famous for its bright colors and unique patterns. Sanganeri block printing is a type of hand-bloc printing technique, which is around 5 centuries old. It was mainly developed between 16th & 17th century and the printed fabrics soon became the major item of export for the East India Company.
The then royalty of Rajasthan allowed the migrant craftsmen of Gujarat settle in the land of Sanganer. This further led to the thorough development of the Sanganeri prints in the 16th and the 17th centuries. Even today, the inspiration derived from that heritage is visible in the craft.
There was a constant war between the Marathas and the Mughals due to the migration of the craftsmen from Gujarat to Rajasthan. The craft that was sought after by both the communities finally found its right place in the land of Sanganer. The Sanganeri hand block print soon became a valuable export product for the East India Company too. The trademark of the Sanganeri print was the originality of the dye used for printing these designs. The dye soon became a popular textile craft in some of the European regions too.
Where did the Inspiration come from?
The Indian heritage and royal patronage inspired the craftsmen to develop this beautiful art. The Sanganeri printing technique was developed by rich traders and royalties of India, who wanted to take forward the inherent culture and tradition of India.
The craftsmen of the Chippa community, who basically belonged to the Punjab and Sindh areas, work hard to create these beautiful pieces of art. Almost all the members of the Chippa community have been indulged in washing, dyeing and printing of fabrics. And they have been exceptionally equipped at Sanganeri hand block print.
The Motifs that Tell a Tale
The motifs of the Sanganeri print have several influences including Mughal ones. You can see a charming blend of bel, flowers, buds and leaves. You will also see versions of the mango motif, betel leaf and even jhumkas embedded in these motifs. Normally, the corners or the border of the fabric are embellished with bel patterns while the inside has a variety of motifs.
Sanganeri hand block prints depict the cultural flora and fauna of the region, and from where it was originated. The motifs are usually flower-based, and some of the most prominent flower patterns include sunflowers, roses, narcissus, and at times, rudrakshas too. Fine lines, folk scenes and intricate detailing account for a major part of this work. The intricacy in the design is one of the highlights of the Sanganeri block printing technique.
Take some out to appreciate the authenticity and beauty of the Sanganeri motifs.
What do you feel when you look at these prints? Calm and peaceful, right!
The intricate floral design entangled with bel patterns make you feel like you are sitting in a garden. It takes you back to the days of the Mughals and transports you to view the beauty of the Moghul dynasty. These motifs narrate the tales of the playmates, the flower and the bel. The appeal of the Sanganeri Print is so much that patterns imprinted upon the garments usually speak out these tales loudly.
You can find a wide variety of designs and patterns used in Sanganeri hand block print, including floral motifs (comprising roses, narcissus, and sunflower), Gods’ motifs, fruits motifs, and folk motifs. The bel indefinitely depicts the rich flora and fauna of our country.
The Story Today
Initially, the Sanganeri block printing technique was used only for sarees. As the fashion palette changed with time, the Sanganeri print is now being widely used for Kurtas, dresses, skirts, tops and even jackets.
Many fashion companies are creating fashionable attires with these prints and one of the leaders in the field is Shree - The Indian Avatar. The brand has beautiful summer collections that are based and inspired by the Sanganeri hand block print.
How to Take Care of your Sanganeri Print Garments?
The garments adorned with Sanganeri print are easiest to maintain and take care of. Just make sure to not wash it too frequently because the color of the dye used for Sanganeri printing might fade out after several washes. Also ensure that you wash these garments using a mild detergent that is ideal to keep the dye intact.
A huge variety of ethnic dresses, Kurtas, skirts and tops are inspired by this beautiful Sanganeri printing technique. These are on display on Shree’s virtual as well as retail stores. The Angrakha-style dress, Kurtas with jackets, dresses with jackets, pocket Kurtas, tunic tops and skirts have all been created to provide comfort as well as a stylish outlook to the person wearing it.
These lightweight and easy-to-carry styles are best-suited for the summers, and allows you to express your style in a manner that is truly unique. When these stunning designs meet LIVA or different kinds of cotton fabrics, they create outfits that are ideal for both daily wear as well as special occasions.
The designers at Shree work hard on the silhouettes of this collection in order to maintain the originality of the Sanganeri block printing technique.
Explore a range of beautiful Sanganeri print collection at Shree’s exclusive brand outlets or online.