The Bagru printing technique has been around for ages. In recent times, it has also been featured on contemporary silhouettes to exude an indo-western vibe.
However, in the rapidly-changing fashion world, we aren’t acknowledging or cherishing the Bagru print enough.
Hence, this blog is dedicated to decoding what Bagru print is and where its roots come from.
Let’s begin with…
THE HISTORY OF BAGRU PRINT
No one knows for sure when this art began but it is speculated that it originated about 450 years ago!
That too in a village of the same name (30 kilometers east from Jaipur city in Rajasthan) and by the hands of Chhipas - an indigenous community of traditional craftsmen who printed fabrics by hand. Chhipas also settled into Bagru from Sawai Madhopur, Alwar, Jhunjhuna, and Sikkar districts of Rajasthan to practice the art of Bagru printing. .
Until about 50 years ago, however, Bagru print was more prevalently printed on Ghagras (skirts) and Odhnis (scarves) for women from the surrounding communities only and the Chhipas also relied on this business to sustain their livelihoods.
During this time, Chhipas would create Bagru prints on a single strip of fabric with few motifs.
Fast forward to the present day and a lot has changed.
HOW THE BAGRU PRINT HAS EVOLVED
The transition of artisans from Bagru village’s low tables to gigantic factories in big cities has been swift but predictable. The effect of globalization and the high demands of the export market can be attributed to this development.
Now, different layouts, textured fabrics, and colors are used for Bagru printing. Spirals, circular diagonals, and other geometric patterns are also common on Bagru printed clothes for women these days.
AN IMPORTANT FACT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT BAGRU PRINT
The colors for Bagru prints are prepared from natural dyes. The base color of Bagru-printed clothes is mostly off-white. At one point, natural dyes like turmeric and indigo were also used as primary coloring agents. But that has also been replaced with synthetic alternatives.
However, the most commonly used colors in Bagru-printed garments (red, black, maroon, etc.) are still hand-prepared by printers to this day.
Speaking of printers or talented craftsmen, KHARAUDI is a type of craftsman who hand-carves motifs on the clothes using wooden blocks.
SAVI INDIA’S BAGRU COLLECTION
Now that you know the backstory behind this beautiful block print, you can take a gander at 3 of our prized Bagru garments.