The art of block printing is thousands of years old that has flourished in India because of its amazing artisans and textiles.
The earliest known examples of block printing are said to date back to China during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). The technique then spread to other parts of Asia, and later to Europe during the Middle Ages. It was widely used for texts and prints. It was also used to print books before the invention of the printing press in the 15th century.
Coming to India
Block printing has a long history in India, with the earliest known examples dating back to the 12th century AD. The technique was used to print religious texts, such as the Bhagavad Gita and Ramayana, as well as secular texts and illustrations. The blocks were typically made of teakwood or boxwood, and the designs were carved by skilled artisans.
The Mughal Influence
The art of block printing in India reached its peak during the Mughal period (1526-1858) when it was used to create luxurious textiles and decorative prints. The Mughals brought Persian and Central Asian influences to Indian block printing, which led to the development of new techniques and designs.
Jaipur, the pink city
Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan, India, has a rich history of block printing. The city has been known for its block printing since the 18th century, during the reign of Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, who established Jaipur as an important center for arts and crafts. During the 19th century, Jaipur's block printing industry flourished and gained popularity for its intricate designs, vibrant colors and high-quality textiles.
Where we are
In modern times, block printing is still an important traditional craft in India, particularly in the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat. It is still used for traditional crafts and art, but has been largely replaced by modern printing methods for mass production. Nowadays many are being driven out of business by screen printers and digital methods, but the technique still survives today. We strive towards helping the artisans keep the OG art alive, in a small way.