Ancient: There has been archaeological evidence about the existence of the basic form of block printing from 3000 BCE, the era of the Indus Valley Civilisation. This traditional art went through its own evolution cycle until or unless the kings of the 12th century gave it royal patronage. Currently, it is practiced in states like West Bengal, Gujarat, and Rajasthan but the state that is popular for its authentic form of it is Rajasthan. The artisans who are practicing this art for their generations reside in Bagru, a small village in Rajasthan and precisely print every single fabric with their hands.
Creative and Colourful:
With a beautiful amalgamation of colors and prints influenced by varied cultures of the world, this art is indeed exclusive and outstanding. Generally, block printing is done on a white or pastel background where there are separate blocks for each color. The outlines are made first and then the bright colors like indigo, orange, yellow, green, red etc are filled in. The patterns are bold and printed repeatedly in rows. Trust me, the melange of flowers, buds, leaves, and various other contemporary prints looks beautiful in symmetry with bright colors popping out on a light base.
In this age of machines, where tons of fabric get ready in just no time, the hand block printed fabric is created with all care and hard work of many days. It is an artisan-produced textile and guess this factor alone makes it really attractive. If you happen to visit Rajasthan, do have a look at the variety of these hand-block printed clothes, You will see an apparent human touch with fascinating little imperfections that cannot be replicated by machines :)
Unique and Inexpensive:
A variety of hand block printed apparel like sarees, dresses, kurtas, scarfs, ethnic wear, suits, etc. are available in India at reasonable prices. It’s not that you can't get it anywhere else but since it is originally manufactured here and gets exported; its prices shoot up in another land after being imported there. More, it is a unique art form of India which must be bought from its native land only.
Last but not the least; I feel this art is a cumulative celebration of ecological, integrity, plants, nature and people closely involved in each step. The prints are beautiful renditions of plants, animals and human culture, the human hands work in place of machines and the colors are naturally prepared from vegetables and flowers. Indeed this Eco-friendly art deserves appreciation and recognition from all around.