There are different block printing techniques that are prevalent in Madhya Pradesh. Bagh printing has derived its name from the river – Baghini which flows through the village and serves as the spine for the craft. This type of printing is a blend of dynamic floral and geometric prints.
This craft has cultural and religious importance in the tribal communities of Dhar. The traditional Bagh prints come with characteristic colors – white, red, and black colors. Adivasi’s use religious motifs for important festivals and special events like marriages. Bagh is used by local tribes. Bagh printed fabric is traditionally worn by women in form of Lahengas, Ghagras with time included.
Bagh is being used to create a pattern on –
- Bed covers
- Cushion Covers
- Wall pieces
Bagh prints are known as Thappa Chapai which are created using natural dyes which are eco-friendly and non-hazardous. The wooden blocks used for printing consists of 200-300-year-old block which is based on traditional motifs. The texture is extremely soft which is achieved through repeated washes. Lime and iron content acts as a cleansing and fastening agent. This prevents loss of colour even after successive washes, especially in red and grey tones. The chemical composition of river water keeps the vibrancy of Bagh prints.
The Bagh prints have small abstract floral designs which are minute as compared to one found in Rajasthan. Nowadays, natives wear industrially produced fabric for regular wear and buy prints only for special occasions or weddings. Due to increasing appreciation for hand block printed fabrics in global market, Bagh artisans have shifted to printing fabric for the contemporary market which brings more colors and patterns into their prints.
Printers we’re catering to local market demands with increasing demand for Bagh printed fabrics in urban areas. The printers are finding it difficult to maintain the quality of prints. But in summer, the village river dries up, and artisans have to move too far off land to wash the fabrics after dyeing. River water is essential to bring out brighter colors on fabrics.