〣 Location: Bhuj, Gujarat | India
〣 No of Artisans: 22
〣 Specialty Skill: Block-printing
The founders of Barehands visited this beautiful community of block printers in one of their first few visits to West India in 2019. Helmed by Juned Bhai, oldest son of Ismail Bhai, whose name is well-known in the area for his craft preservation efforts, his hope is to carry on the legacy that his father has built over the last 50 years.
Blockprinting — a traditional art dating back thousands of years ago where fabrics were printed using hand-carved wooden blocks and natural dyes from plants and roots.
From harvesting and preservation of wood for 7 years, to wood blocks being chipped away into patterns, up to the preparation of dyes and precise printing of motifs - the team strives to retain its organic nature of its work yet produce quality art pieces.
What struck us was that blockprinting in the area was primarily done by men, while women mastered tie dyeing techniques instead, as the art involved long hours of standing.
Image above: Natural plants, roots and minerals used in the fabric dyeing process
However, what amazed us in our conversations with Juned Bhai was not only his unwavering passion to continue his father's legacy in craft preservation but more so, his determination to include his band of blockprinters in building towards a more sustainable future for them and their families. He is truly an inspiration!
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Image above: blockprinting of the twigs print