Bagh handblock printed stole in black and white designed by the skilled traditional artisans. Abstract lines are printed on a white base for this stole.
The Bagh village is interspersed with several karkhanas, which collectively employ around 300 locals. The artisans make use of a finite colour palette of black and red, and source their inspiration from the murals at Bagh Caves. It is also believed that this form of block printing was deeply influenced by the Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti. The gamut of motifs printed on the fabric range from floral patterns such as marigold to geometrical forms of baarik lehariya and paisley. The ceaseless Baghni River is the backbone of the craft, for it lends its water to many stages of the production process. Bagh printing, also known as alizarin printing, is manual and laborious, involving several processes of repeated washing, dyeing, and printing. Traditionally, women assisted in preparing the cloth, washing it, and preparing dyes, whereas the men did the block printing.
Recognizing the potential of Bagh block printing, efforts were channelized through active collaboration between the artisans and Designers towards creating contemporary designs inspired from Nasreen Mohammedi’s line art. First time the women were brought to the forefront of value chain and were trained on skill enhancement and design development. The idea was to revive the crafts and to provide these marginalized community members with livelihood options. This broke the prevalent notion that women lacked the strength to tap blocks to produce quality prints. The women started printing along with the master artisans breaking the gender glass ceiling.
The project also invested in setting up auxiliary unit to complete the value addition locally by the women. The project trained 70 women from eight self- help groups (SHG) and presently they are all members of Jiyo Antyoday Vastra Utpadan producer group with equal stakeholder ship and ownership.