Getting your hands indigoed – Part I

Rajashthan The land of Kings and Palaces; the land with a glorious past and people known for their craftsmanship and hospitality. I was fortunate to be able to mingle and work with some of these craftsmen last year.

The skilled craftsmen had a rhythm like a well-oiled machine – consistent and uniform. So was the output; near perfection! Witnessing them breeze through the Dabu and Bagru printing made it look quiet simple.

However, looks can be deceiving! While trying it first-hand I understood the laborious hours that must have gone into achieving this near perfection. The rhythmic sound of hitting the heavy wooden block twice to allow the dye penetrate into the fabric hit me real hard when I touched the edge of the right palm of these printers that had become hard and numb.

Every step, right from contemplating on a design for the scarf, stamping the first block onto the cloth to taking it through drying – dying – drying cycles, was exhilarating. After a night of anticipation, when I saw the scarf I had made, I could experience the real beauty of a handmade product; it’s like this moment, it is unique; happened never before and cannot be replicated ever after.

Going through this whole process humbled me and made me conscious about my instantaneous judgement and rejection while shopping. The Indigo dye on my hands might have washed off in a day, but the impressions on my mind will be forever.

Read more about my trip to Bagru in Getting Your hands indigoed -Part II

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