Alizarin, Madder, Parijaat, Natural Dye, Bagh Print, Ajrakh, Puru Print, Hand block print, Dabu

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Bagh Print: Magic of River Water

Bagh Print Introduction


Bagh print is one of the famous hand blocks printing craft of India, practiced in tribal village “Bagh” situated at the banks of Baghini River. Minerals found in the Baghini river water gave natural color more vibrancy and increase its fastness. Due to this local specialty Bagh print got geographical indicated brand status in the year 2009. Some 400 years ago few families of "Khatri Community" migrated from Sindh province in today’s Pakistan to Manavar and then Bagh. Another theory says few families of "Khatri" community from "Bherogarh" Village near Ujjain migrated to Manavar and then Bagh in search of new market to continue the tradition of hand block printing. 


National awardee late Ismail Sulemanji Khatri made Bagh print famous by experimenting with urban outfits and variety of designs. Before 1960 hand block printers from Bagh were known as alizarin printers because of use of alizarin in the dyeing process but now it is known as Bagh print to the world. 


Traditionally a combination of buta (flower) and buti (small flower) pattern is used in Bagh prints but today EcoFab introduced other design and patterns in this craft. Bagh print is basically a kind of alizarin & direct hand block printing practiced in various parts of India including Rajasthan and Gujarat. In this craft of hand block printing alizarin is used to fix red and black color printed on cotton or silk using wooden blocks. 

In Bagh print a combination of only two colors red and black is used in printing. First alum (Occurs red in place of alum when dyed with alizarin) to get red and vegetable black is printed. To get the red color from alizarin dye alum is printed as a mordant. Black colour is prepared by keeping corrosion of iron with jaggery solution in a pot for 10-15 days. Now a day readily available “Kashish” made from iron rust is also used to increase the fastness of black color. Few decades back natural alizarin were used extracted from the roots of "Al" tree but today synthetic alizarin replaced the natural one. In Bagh print except use of synthetic alizarin rest of the process still followed by Bagh printers.


Sometimes khakhi color is used in printing by processing black color with harada powder (Myrobalan) and golden yellow by processing with caustic soda but these two colors can’t be over dyed with any other dye. Bagh printing requires 12-15 days to produce a lot of 300 meters fabric.


Bagh Print Designs




"Genda" or Marigold flower design


Traditional "Buta" or flower design



Manjishtha or Madder over-dyed Sarees



Printing Process 



Story Behind Naming Bagh Print

Bagh print is one of the mordant and direct techniques of hand block printing practiced in the Bagh village of Dhar district in Madhya Pradesh. The Bagh printers were previously known as “Alizarin printers” due to use of alizarin for getting red color and to fix the printed black color on the fabric. After Late Martand Singh called alizarin printers of Bagh as “Bagh Printers”, since then Alizarin printers of Bagh known as “Bagh Printers” to the world. 


Other Attractions

Apart from bagh prints you can find other attractions in Bagh are:

1. Maa Bagheshwari Temple

One of the famous Devi (Goddess) temple in the region and a “Siddh Peeth”. Name of the village named after this very age old temple. “Bagheshwari” literally means the Goddess sitting on the tiger.



2.  Bagh Caves (Locally known as Pandav Caves)

You can find beautiful cave paintings inside the caves and also in the museum located outside the caves. 





3. Dinosaurs Fossils

6.5 Crore years old fossils of Dinosaurs found in this village. One of the biggest fossil park in the state is under planning. As per the local source till date more than 6000 fossil in the form of egg found in this area.



For Craft tour or to visit this area you can contact us at



Mobile: +91 9993091955


For Bagh Print collection you can check




Thursday, 5 October 2017

Natural Alizarin from Madder Roots




Madder root is one of the rich sources of natural alizarin and purpurin which gives red and yellow color with alkalis and ethanol respectively.  Alizarin red is one of the most valuable natural dyes found in morinda tinctoria (Al Tree) roots but now a day not available easily. Madder roots though contain alizarin red but with the presence of purpurin or some other content it faded away other printed color on the fabric. After doing multiple experiments with madder roots to get natural red color in traditional hand block printing we never got expected result. In traditional hand block printing there are mainly 2 colors red and black is possible. Black is made from fermentation of iron rust & jaggery powder and red is obtained from alizarin (Today synthetic alizarin is used in the process) where alum is printed. Alizarin not only gives red color but also increase the fastness of black color printed on the fabric.


We used madder roots many times to get red where alum is printed in traditional hand block printing process but after multiple attempts we got little red in place of alum was printed but at the same time black color printed on the fabric got fade away in the process.


With conducive research undertaken by EcoFab with the operational help of Tapapur printer brothers’ Shri Pawan Jhariya and Banwari Jhariya  now we are able to extract alizarin red color from the madder roots using combination with different natural dye. Using this combination of 100% natural and herbal dyes now we are not only getting deep red where alum is printed but it also increased the fastness of black color too.





Maheshwari Silk Cotton Saree dyed with Natural Alizarin

 प्राकृतिक अलिज़रिन से रंगी हुई माहेश्वरी सिल्क कॉटन साड़ी


मंजिष्ठा की जड़ में अलिज़रिन और पर्पुरिन नामक प्राकृतिक तत्व होते हैं जो क्षार और इथेनॉल के साथ क्रमशः लाल और पीला रंग देते हैं| प्राकृतिक रूप से अलिज़रिन का मुख्य स्त्रोत “आल के पेड़” की जड़ हैं किन्तु अब यह पेड़ आसानी से उपलब्ध नहीं होता हैं| मंजिष्ठा की जड़ में अलिज़रिन होता हैं जिससे लाल रंग आता हैं किन्तु पर्पुरिन या किसी अन्य तत्व के कारण कपड़े पर छापे गए अन्य रंग धुंधले हो जाते हैं| पारंपरिक ठप्पा छपाई में मंजिष्ट से लाल रंग पाने के लिए कई बार प्रयत्न किये गए पर कभी भी अपेक्षित परिणाम नहीं मिला| पारंपरिक ठप्पा छपाई में केवल २ रंग लाल और काला ही संभव हैं| लोहे की जंग और गुड़ को सड़ाकर कला रंग प्राप्त किया जाता है और लाल रंग के फिटकरी की छपाई की जाती हैं जिसे अलिज़रिन (आजकल केमिकल अलिज़रिन का उपयोग होता हैं) से रंगने के बाद जहाँ पर फिटकरी की छपाई की गयी थी लाल रंग आ जाता हैं| अलिज़रिन न केवल लाल रंग देता हैं अपितु काले रंग को भी पक्का करता हैं|

कई बार मंजिष्ठा का उपयोग पारंपरिक ठप्पा छपाई में करने पर हमें फिटकरी से छपे गए स्थान पर हल्का लाल रंग मिला और दूसरा दुष्परिणाम यह मिला की छापा गया काला रंग भी बहुत हल्का हो गया|


कड़ी मेहनत के बाद आखिरकार मंजिष्ठा के साथ कुछ और प्राकृतिक रंग के मिश्रण करने से हमें प्राकृतिक रूप से अलिज़रिन लाल रंग की प्राप्ति हो गयी| एकोफेब ने तारापुर के छीपा भाइयो श्री बनवारी झरिया और पवन झरिया के साथ मिलकर यह सफल प्रयोग संपन्न किया| अब हम १००% प्राकृतिक रंग के मिश्रण से प्राकृतिक अलिज़रिन लाल रंग पाने में सफल हो गए हैं जिससे न केवल गहरा लाल रंग प्राप्त हो रहा हैं बल्कि काला रंग भी पक्का हो रहा हैं| 

Ajrakh in India: Two different school of thoughts

One of the most mystical colorful and oldest known technique of hand block printing is Ajrakh. We already discussed about the history and ...