This beautifully hand crafted Aartyz Half Sleeves Men’s Dark Red Shirt is in Ikat premium cotton fabric.
In India, block prints hold a place of pride. The age-old craft of dyeing and colouring a fabric using wooden blocks has been perfected over generations. Whether it is Rajasthan’s popular Dabu print, which uses the mud printing technique, or Gujarat’s Ajrakh, featuring geometric motifs, each block print is symbolic of the country’s vast heritage and rich culture. India is, after all, one of the largest manufacturers and exporters of block printed fabrics.
The process of block printing
The process of block printing is a tedious one. It takes 10-15 days to perfect the design of the blocks. It all begins with a fabric that is first washed free of starch. If the fabric is not dyed, it is then colored by tie-dyeing. The fabric is then washed to remove excess colour and then dried under the sun. The next step sees the fabric pinned on the printing table. Meanwhile, the colours are prepared and kept on a tray containing glue and pigment binder to ensure a soft base for the colour, and to allow it to easily spread on the block.
These blocks are made using woods such as teak, sycamore and pear, and are lovingly hand-carved in a myriad of intricate designs that are first made using chalk paste or a pencil on paper. Post this, they are soaked in oil for 10-15 days to soften the timber.
Once the blocks are ready, they are dipped in the colour and then pressed onto the fabric. This process is repeated over and over again until the length of the fabric is complete. Precision is demanded by the artisans to ensure there are no breaks in the motifs. If there are multiple colours, other blocks are used and the artisan waits for the first print to dry first.
The fabrics are left to dry in the sun, and then rolled in a newspaper to prevent them from sticking to each other. The post-printing process sees them being steamed, washed in water, dried in the sun again, and lastly, being ironed.