Learn about Traditional Bagru and Sanganer Hand Block Printing Techniques

Rajasthan is known for its rich heritage and culture. The state has a vibrant and colorful lifestyle and fantastic art forms. One of the most popular art forms of Rajasthan includes a different array of printing techniques. These printing techniques are genuinely spectacular and hold great significance for the state and its people. Two of the most common garment printing styles popular in the state are Sanganer and Bagru.

Both these styles of printing originally belong to Rajasthan and represent the royal past of the state.

Here’s the difference between these two common and most popular printing techniques of Rajasthan.

Sanganer Printing

The Sanganer printing technique dates back to the 16th and 17th centuries. It was during this time that the East India Company started exporting these products to western countries in large numbers. In its original form, Sanganer prints were done over off-white or white background. Wooden blocks or screen printers were used to print the designs on cloth. The most common cloth material used for this printing is cotton. From colorful floral patterns to geometric designs, you will find a lot of variety in the Sanganer printing. If you notice Sanganer printing closely, you will observe that the work is quite intricately done. There are a lot of details in every design.
People all over the world admire the intricately designed Sanganeri fabric. Some of the commonly used floral prints in Sanganer block printing are roses, sunflowers, lotuses, marigolds, and lilies.

Initially, only vegetable dyes were used in printing. Now, artists are also using chemical dyes due to the increased demand of the Sanganeri printed fabric.

A printing technique called calico printing is used by the artists to print Sanganeri block prints. First, the outline of the design is printed, and then the colors are filled in the design. Artists then repeat the printing in diagonal sections forming the entire print.

The availability of water also affected the printing techniques. In the case of Sanganer printing, water was available in abundance. This lead to easy washing and printing of clothes.

If you love this printing style, you can buy items like bedsheets, unstitched cotton salwar suits, sarees, etc.

Bagru Printing

Bagru printing is also a traditional printing technique that was done using natural colors. The ‘chippa’ community of Rajasthan practices this form of art. As opposed to the white background used for Sanganeri printing, Bagru printing is done on indigo or blue colored background. There are two types of printing methods within the Bagru printing technique. One of them is known as the Dabru prints, and the other one is called seyalibagru prints. Dabru printing is done using a special resist technique that works by hiding the print from the dye.

Seyalibagru printing, on the other hand, is known for its black and ochre yellow color combinations. The patterns printed in Bagru printing are predominantly geometrical, but motifs of birds, animals, and flowers are also used to print beautiful designs. Bagru printed dress material is quite popular among women all over the country.

The region where Bagru printing was practiced had a scarcity of water. A reddish tone was visible in the printing because of this.

These days, traditionally printed fabric is in high demand. A wide variety of products are made using this printing technique. Most common among these are sarees, salwar suits, bed sheets, dupattas, etc. Chanderi sarees manufacturers also use these printing techniques to increase the value and demand of their products. These days, printed cloth materials are also available online. You should do a proper background check of these websites before you buy from them.

In this article

Join the Conversation