Hand block printing originated in Asia and is considered to be one of the oldest methods of textile printing that leaves a decorative effect on fabric. Pieces of cloth excavated from the ruins of Mohenjo Daro during the Indus Valley Civilization, confirm that the block printing method was practiced in India as long ago as the 30th century BC. India is one of the largest block printed fabric makers in the world and block printing craftsmen use wooden or metal blocks to create beautiful designs. This form of art continued to bloom under the patronage of the Indian maharajas and is one of the slowest forms of textile printing, that gives results that are unachievable using other methods.
For Gartika's handprinted scarf patterns, the master wood carvers create one to ten print blocks, each of which takes anywhere from three to seven days to carve. The master carver with a help of a heavy metal bar and a chisel creates incredibly fine incisions making patterns, before our team of artisans can begin the manual process of block printing each scarf. A dye-dipped block is hand pressed on the fabric to make continuous, intertwining patterns inspired by century-old alluring motifs. The scarves are then thoroughly washed in fresh water and naturally dried out in the sun (none of the mass-production, big factory methods are used in the process).
WHAT IS SO SPECIAL ABOUT OUR BLOCK PRINTED SCARVES?
While hand block printing on pure cotton fabrics or cotton blends is awe-inspiring, using this ancient Indian technique on cashmere and silk blend fabric creates an unusual clothing item that takes winter fashion to the next level.
At Gartika, we ensure our wood blocks are made of only the highest quality walnut wood which costs about $100 to create one small pattern and lasts about six to seven years. Separate blocks are required for each of the colors used in a pattern and it's not unexpected to have two or more colors in a typical design. It can take more than ten people up to twelve hours to create a rare block print pattern. The pattern-drawer's artistic impression on each Gartika scarf is hard to put in words and all we can say is you will not be disappointed if you bought one. When you buy our product, you are directly helping us preserve this charming style of textile creation. It's also fun to be able to tell a story about a scarf, isn't it?
Take a look at our elegant hand block printed scarves here