Friday Review » Art

Updated: March 12, 2010 19:49 IST

Straight out of a painting

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The printers create magic on fabrics of a wide range.

Hand block embellishment is one of the great textile arts of India. The motifs are derived from nature and consist of ‘amris' and ‘butis' - floral and vine - as well as intricate geometrics in an unchanged design language.

Impressive technique

The block printer uses the ingenious ‘dabu resist' technique as well as overlaying of prints to create sheer textile magic. The block printers live in large communities in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. Vegetable dyes are used by the Bagh printers of Madhya Pradesh, Barmer in Rajasthan and Bhuj in Gujarat.

The Central Cottage Industries Emporium brings an alluring range of block prints on Maheshwaris, Chanderis, Mulls, Kotas, georgettes and crepes.

The workmanship is of a high order. Delicate Chanderis block printed with tiny floral motifs look as though they have wafted out of a Mughal miniature painting. Tiny ‘amris' scattered over ethereal Kotas and mulls charm with their delicate beauty. Also eye catching are Maheshwaris in jewel tones block printed with bold floral motifs and arabesques. Bagru and Dabu mud resist block printing on cottons and tussars are other attractions. The diffused charm of block prints on Chanderi, Maheshwari and Tussar is on display in a large range of saris.

Also part of the collection are Tanghail saris from West Bengal as well as block printed georgettes and crepes.

A range of Mangalgiri cottons block printed in Rajasthan fuses the textile art of the two States. The Cottage Industries Emporium goes to the remotest rural weavers to source their products.

The Handloom and Block Printed Saris Exhibition is on view at The CCIE, Temple Towers, 672, Anna Salai, Nandanam, till March 31.

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