Hand Block Printing of Indore, Madhya Pradesh


The central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh has a versatile tradition of hand-block printing, located in several distinct centres. The distinctiveness and particular style exemplified in each of the several centres has evolved gradually, incorporating within in a combination of the culture and tradition of the specific area, the raw materials that were and are locally available, and of course the artisans' design aesthetics. Each centre retained its uniqueness till fairly recently - traditions were deep-rooted, distances vast, communication networks weak, and the mineral-rich waters that facilitated and added to the colours unique to each area. This living tradition has resulted in a vibrant variety of prints in a wide design range. Distinct among the block-printing techniques and designs are those from Bagh and Javad. Other traditional hand-block printing areas include Ashta and Sehore in District Sehore, Narsinghpur in District Naroighpur, and Khairola in District West Nimad - however, these centres are more or less extinct now due to the overall decline of hand-block printing, owing to competition from screen and mill prints.

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