The Roar Of Bagh

While the world goes black and white add colour to your life with YuvaWave roaring collection of bagh print sarees stand out in the crowd and lead a new path of style.

From a near forgotten tribal art in a small village in Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh, today Bagh prints have left an imprint in the textile and art world. Blocks based on traditional motifs inspired by the 1,500-year-old paintings found in caves in the region, these motifs include chameli or jasmine, maithir or mushroom, leheriya and jurvaria or small dots on the field. Apart from the different moods and landscapes the motifs evoke, the prints have a distinctive muted loveliness which mimic the best and most sophisticated screen printing. Also the Bagh printed saree textiles are extremely soft which is attributed to the repeated washes they get in the Bhagini river. The process involved is tedious where materials such as cotton, tussar, silk and crepe are first soaked overnight and then dried. It is then soaked in a special paste and then once again washed, bleached and dried thus ready for printing. For printing, a small sized plastic tray is prepared with a bamboo jaali fitted on which black or red paste is applied. Over this, layers of thick wet cloth are placed that soak in the colours. The block is then dipped into it and placed with a light touch on the saree which is stretched on a table with a stone slab covered with seven layers of jute. Once the printing is done, the sari is dried and kept aside for eight days. The final stage is to hold it in running water of the Bhagini. Thereafter, it is dried again and put in the bhatti mixed with dhawala flowers and alzarin. Bleaching and drying follow. And finally, a beautiful Bagh printed saree is ready.

History of Bagh Print Sarees

Bagh print sarees are solely created by muslim Khatri community from Bagh village in Madhya Pradesh. History has it that the Khatri community practiced the unique textile printing technique called Ajrak prints in Sindh which is in current day Pakistan but due to harassment by a Brahmin king, they were forced to move to Pali in Rajasthan. However, a severe famine forced them to move from Pali to Gautampur in Malwa region and subsequently to Manawar in Madhya Pradesh. In 1962, their decision to move to Bagh village was mainly dependent on the fact that the village hosted river Bhagini, a perennial resource very important for this kind of work. While continuing with their block prints of Ajrak, they began to redefine its concept, process and look to meet the local trends and practices in the region and renamed the art form as Bagh prints. Tedious and time consuming, while the process of making bagh print silk and cotton sarees involve use of 200 to 300 wooden blocks that sport traditional motifs inspired by ancient paintings, these motifs have the potential to invoke different moods and feelings and they have a muted charm that surpasses the most sophisticated screen printing technique.