Rajasthan as the hub of craft and culture houses many traditional crafts and among them the most practiced and known craft is hand block printing. The region of Sanganer has emerged as one such centre for the age old craft of hand block printing. Sanganer is a small village situated around 30 km from the walled city of Jaipur and considered to be the most prosperous place in Jaipur. The water of the river Saraswati flowing from Sanganer is considered to be having special quality that brings out the radiance from the natural dyed fabric. The artisans practicing block printing belong to Chhipa community. The block makers mainly make two types of block Wooden Block and Metal Block. Wooden blocks are usually made on teak or seesham wood. The design are first printed on paper and stuck on the block of wood. Artisan, then start carving the wood with steel chisels of different widths and cutting surface. Metal Blocks are used for making intricate patterns and getting high level of clarity in prints. These blocks are made by engraving thin sheets of evenly cut metal strips into the wooden blocks. The metal strips are beaten to make them thin and then strips are cut of even length. The design is drawn on the wooden block and the metal strips are pressed onto the design by gentle hammering. These are costly, time consuming but long lasting. The main raw material is the color used in the printing. Traditionally the artisans used natural colors but today it has been replaced by chemical and artificial colors. The process of printing can be divided into washing, marking, printing, drying and washing again. Traditionally the printing was done for the royal families and motifs are highly stylized. Mainly, motifs are modelled after sunflowers, narcissuses, roses, rosettes, lotuses, nargis, marigold, gulmehendi, javakusum, etc. Fruits like, keri, dhatura, banana, dates, grapes and pomegranate are also developed. Apart from this bel, betel leaf, animals like parrot, fish, camel, elephant etc are also taken as models to create motifs. In some traditional prints katar (dagger) and other weapons are also seen as motifs.
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