Traditional, mud resist printing and dyeing technique of Rajasthan
The t-shirts are soaked, washed and dried to remove, if there’s any starch or other industrial extracts.
The t-shirts are laid flat on the printing table, to have an even surface for block printing on them.
Dabu is one of the most famous and traditional hand block printing techniques of Rajasthan. A mud resist based printing and dyeing format, the liquefied paste of jaggery and calcium powder is mixed with mud to be used as a base for the block printing process. Later it is covered with sand and sawdust powder to secure it.
MID PROCESS DRYING
After the printing process, the t-shirts are then dried in the sun for a while to help the mud resist settle on the fabric.
The cloth is then dyed at least twice in the indigo pit. Here the mud resist secures the designs printed on t-shirts and rest of the cloth gets completely dyed.
Black kashish powder is used to give a raw fabric a grey shade/color. The pre-washed t-shirts are first dipped in harda (myrobalan) solution and then are dipped in a solution of black kashish powdered water- later soaked and washed in water.
Both Indigo and Kashish dyed t shirts are hung or laid down in the sun, before they are packed and stored for few days for the tshirts to completely absorb the dye.
Both indigo and kashish dyed cloth are washed one last time before we iron and pack them for you.
Ram Babu and his two other brothers, who started with just one table, today have their own traditional Dabu and Bagru printing unit!
His ancestors practiced the craft, but eventually had to stop because of unfavorable circumstances. He and his brothers later decided to continue with the craft. They today work for and with brands and companies throughout the country.
As captured in the frame above, they make sure their knowledge meets new horizons with their younger generation as well.
Traditionally belonging to the Chhipa community of block printers, she practices the craft from a studio situated at her home's backyard.
Being the best of both worlds, she gracefully balances and continues to take forward her work with the everyday chores and responsibilities.
Although traditionally not from one of the block printing or dyeing communities, he has acquired the skills for the same with his years of working and supervising in factories.
Today, he is one of the most skilled artisans in the community, who now partners with Rambabu Shukla and has finally found his worth.