Introduction of block printing was to aid women in embroidering. Serving the purpose of guidelines, the block does not allow the women to think or use her imagination to create something new. It has helped both the women and the shopkeeper in maintaining the size, the design and has tremendously reduced the amount of time spent in finishing a single Phulkari.
Once the cloth is bought, the shopkeeper decides the design and sends it across for block printing. Different motif blocks, with various sizes are used for printing. For bed covers, big blocks are generally used in the centre and corners along with one on each pillow cover.
At times one motif is derived by stamping the block 3-4 times in different directions. Also while block printing the person has to keep in mind the continuity of the design. This is maintained by making sure that after one block the following block is matched with the previous, which sometime also leads to the formation of a new motif.
The colour used for block printing is temporary dye. The colour is in the form of granules which is boiled in water for couple of hours and then when it cools down it is poured over a wooden block (wrapped up in cloth) which is used as a stamping pad. This dye gets easily cleaned after a single wash. Thus the blocks are just the guidelines for embroider.
Mr Amit in his small shop does as many as 300 pieces per day and charges Rs 3 per cloth.