Rogan painting is popularly known as Rogani kam. This art is intricate and skillful. This painting done on inexpensive textiles using a thick paste of castor oil and color. The technique gives a unique identity to basic craft. The artwork becomes beautiful with time, and it compliments the fabric texture. The elements are earthy and environmentally friendly, which is used in Rogan painting.
Rogan painting was used as seasonal craft traditionally and used to make traditional attire components like Ghagras, Lahengas, odhani, dupatta and Chabla. Rogan painting is used on household fabrics like bedsheets, quilts, pillow covers and small pieces of fabrics such are used to cover dishes. These fabrics have overtime been used as commercial uses and products like bed covers, sarees, scarves and wall hangings.
This painting take inspiration from agriculture which is main occupation of village. The raw material is easily available for craft, and it is hassle-free. A unique feature of this craft is that the outline of the design is painted over fabric that can be folded or pressed against other fabric to get the second impression of the fabric of the same design. It also ensures that while replicating these designs easily, it also ensures that paint sticks to the surface.
Rogan art is example of union of civilizations in beaming history of India. This craft is from old medieval times. This craft has travelled from North western regions namely Persia, Afghanistan, Pakistan. This craft had not received much recognition before. The castor oil, which is the main ingredient or raw material for the craft. The process of extraction proved to be tedious. The process slowly spread to different areas. The patterns and motifs resemble that of embroidery patterns.
The motifs and patterns are used in Rogan painting. These designs are traditional and contemporary. There are linear forms and symmetry which is created by double impression done by folding and peeling the cloth. This leaves a mirror image. There are different motifs used as design as flower, Tristan (three dots) and Versus (wavy border motif). There are animals, trees, humans and objects which make artistic appearance in the designs. Fabric consists of thick and multi layered borders are filled with repeated motifs. The wall hangings also consist of images of villagers, resplendent with trees, cattle and birds.
The castor oil is used for making Rogan painting is risky process. This process has to be done carefully to avoid fire accidents. The fumes and odour is emitted from this process is harmful to workers. The colors used in the painting are dangerous and poisonous f if one consumes. The artisans should be cautious who handles them. With the introduction of screen printing, demand for Rogan painting has reduced. This has led to great decline in practicing of this craft, where only one family is practicing this art.