The Art of Block Printing

Block printing is a traditional art, synonymous with Sanganer. This Rajasthani town just outside of Jaipur is famed for its block printing talent and heritage, which began centuries ago when artists settled in the region, choosing Sanganer due to its abundant sources of water – a fundamental ingredient for the block printing art.

TIPI’s block printing process starts in a family run workshop on the bustling streets of Sanganer, where the blocks are carved. Here, this intricate skill has been passed on from father to son for four hundred years.

Step one

The paper patterns, hand sketched by TIPI’s designers, are nailed onto blocks of wood, each one representing a different colour. Depending on the pattern and colours, there can often be up to six separate blocks per print.

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Step two

Local men then carve these intricate patterns into the wood, chipping out each petal or geometric shape by hand with chisels for time-honoured precision.

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Step three

The blocks are then taken to our block printing workshop. Sari-length tables of six metres are then padded with layers of cloth to cushion them and achieve an even print with the blocks.

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Step four

Dye pots are filled with layers of jute and fine netting then covered with the dye to ensure there is a thick padding for the blocks to be pressed onto. This ensures that the blocks absorb the dye evenly and prevents it from dripping onto the cloth.

Step five

With true artisanal skill and patience, the printer walks up and down the long tables from left to right, stamping the blocks across the entirety of the cotton or linen, colour by colour, to create a depth of pattern that is unique to block printing. Having seen the the TIPI designs being printed, there is a relaxing and calming quality about the rhythmical drumming of the blocks onto the cloth-covered tables.

With designs inspired by India’s markets, climate and cities, the TIPI table linen collection  is produced by hand with Indigosol dyes for resilience. By using this ancient craft, the range has a tangible authenticity that adds real feeling to your home.