The process of printing can be divided into following major parts:-
The fabric brought from the market contains starch, dust etc. Therefore it goes through a preprinting treatment in order to get good results while printing. The fabric is therefore dipped in a solution of water and bleach for 1-2 days. It is then boiled and washed with water. Finally the cloth is stretched and spread on ground and left for drying. This process known as Hari Sarana takes 3-5 days depending on the weather conditions.
The cloth to be printed is spread on the printing table and fixed with the help of pins. With help of scale and chalk areas to be printed are marked and proper gaps are left for cutting and stitching.
Printer dips the block in the color and stamps the design on the cloth. The blocks are then pressed hard with the fist on the back of the handle so that registration/imprint of the color is even. Printing starts from left to right. Number of colors used in the design defines the number of blocks to be used. Generally one printer handles one color and application is done simultaneously. In the case of sarees the pallu is printed first and then the border. First the outline color is applied and then the filling colors. Specific point in the block guides the printer for the repeat impression. The process of printing is called as Chapaai.
After the printing is completed the fabric is dried out in sun for the colors to get fixed. This is done specially for the pigment dyes. The printed fabrics are handled with utmost care so that the colors are not transferred to other areas. Therefore they are wrapped in plastic or newspaper after dying. The process is called as Sukhaai.
Fabric then goes through the process of steaming in the special boilers constructed for this purpose. After steaming, the material is washed thoroughly in large quantities of water and dried in the sun. Once the fabric is washed and dried ironing is done, which further fixes the color permanently. This final process of washing is called Dhulaai.