B for Block Prints
I had heard about the art of Block-printing long before I even learned to ride a bicycle. It was, perhaps, the easy and economical spread of this craft that made it popular amongst Indian fabrics. This only meant that Block-printed cotton Kameez, Kurti, Bed Sheets or even Curtains, would be a common and easy sight in any household. So was it, in mine too. I, also, grew up having a biased love for this art because it came in comfortable cotton, a blissful wear for Indian summers.
However, my chance encounter of how these hued designs were embossed happened only when I was visiting a local artisans’ colony in my city. There were numerous small clay stamps, carved in miniature relic forms with exquisite motifs lying in the sun, some still wet with the dye on them.
A craftsman was kind enough to let me try on the gloves and do a view blocks myself. It was quite a rush to witness and experience the toil that goes into making these fantastic Block-printed attires. What caught my imagination here was the simplicity with which this art touches the style fancies of women across the globe. It only reiterated the fact that no matter what, simple things have the best way of reaching out to one’s heart, just like the dyed motif from a clay block on my Kurti!