The essence of Rajasthan and beauty of traditionalism is truly reflected in the Bagru as well as Rapid prints. If Bagru prints are based on floral and other conventional designs; while, rapid print is based on lines and geometrical patterns. Coming from the small town of Bagru, located 30km from Jaipur on Ajmer Highway, Bagru print is exclusively beautiful. Known as the traditional method of printing carried out with natural colors, these prints signify richness prevailing in cultural brilliance. In fact, the appeal of the design stamped on the base fabric looks really nice and signifies the true style of Rajwada.
The technique of Bagru and rapid print is carried out by the Chhipa community and they have been practicing this art since 350 years. The specialty of these prints of Rajasthan lies in the fact that the design maker uses only natural vegetable dyes that are fasting in terms of color stay and give exceptional impression. In fact, it is a style of hand block printed in which the impressions are transferred on the wooden blocks to be printed on a light colored fabric. Generally, the fabric used in this process is cotton. Such kind of print is everlasting and looks really magnificent.
India has been known for its dying style and patterns used through blocks. The process of Bagru print starts with receiving cotton bundles. At the first, the material is cut in desired length as per the use for dying like that of saree, cushion cover or dupatta. Followed by this, the fabric is pre-washed and soaked for about one day for removing dust, oil or any kind of starch present in it. This will make the cotton fabric be ready for the printing process. Then, the cloth piece is dyed in yellow color from “harda solution” that allows the natural dyes to become color fast.
This yellow colored cloth is soaked in the bright sun to let it turn as cream shade and is spread on the padded printing table for starting the Bagru printing process. As the cloth is spread on the table and tied on the edges for a smooth surface, the printer would dip the block in a respective color and put it over the fabric for printing. The person hits hard on the block to give a symmetrical printing shade without any difference in printing techniques. Such process is repeated through “gadh block” considered as the background, “rehk” block for printing fine outlines and “data” as the inside fillers that fills the empty spaces with colors.
As the fabric is dyed, it is made to dry in the sun for 2 or 3 days and washed afterwards to drain out the excess of color. On drying the fabric, it is boiled in huge copper pot. After the boiling takes place, the cotton cloth is again dried and finally packed for selling at various stores.
The magic of Bagru and Rapid printing is such that they present the richness prevailing in Rajasthani culture and their deep cultural believes.