Every Rajasthani has included the famous Sanganeri Print in their lives in one way or another. Curtains, bed sheets, saris, suits or scarves, I’m positive that they have the Sanganeri print on more than one of these items. It is worn by people and has been decorating their homes since centuries. And it’s not only famous in our state or country, but is popular worldwide as well. The floral patterns and bold colors of the motif never go out of style for our people. One look at the images of the print and a person living in Rajasthan will know what I’m talking about.
Now that I’m in a place where it is not easy to get this print, I was reminiscing about the good old days when I didn’t really notice it, because it was all around me, I thought of paying it a kind of a tribute by knowing more about it and enlightening people like me, who have forgotten its value, as well as revealing it to those who are not very familiar with it.
Its name clearly comes from the place where it is developed the most in the state, Sanganer. It is 8 kilometers from the city and has been a major center for producing this beautiful art. A variety of textile material is exported from this place, especially the Sanganeri print. During the ancient times, the fabric with this print was mainly for the royal families but now it can be found in every home.
This fascinating art usually involves printing on a white background. Traditional Rajasthani print generally comprises of animals like horses, elephants, peacocks, camels etc., and figures of Gods and Goddesses. I still remember as a kid when I used to play on my bed, I would weave stories that would revolve around the animals that I would see on my bed sheet.
The imaginary stories bring me to the race track of my toy car. If you look at any Sanganeri printed bed sheet, you will immediately be able to distinguish that the pattern involves an outline in which the color is then filled in. Yes, the outline would be the race track for my car races with my cousins. But let’s not deviate from the topic and not call the pattern a race track since it is called the Calico form of printing.
Now, the block that is used for creating these magnificent designs, is usually made of teak wood and one of its side is carved with the design that will be printed on the fabric. The block is then placed into a tray filled with dye and then pressed against the cloth to form stunning prints.
I’m full of admiration for the effort and skill that goes in making this amazing print and would advise people to definitely enhance the beauty of their wardrobes or homes with the Sanganeri Print.