Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Traditional dyeing and printing of rajasthan

This is a document I got while searching for traditional rajasthani costumes…….looks beautiful.Have a look…….

                                       Group of Mārwāri Bania women.

Hindu garb of a long white coat and a loin-cloth. He has not yet adopted the cotton trousers copied from the English fashion. Some Banias in their shops wear only a cloth over their shoulders and another round their waist. The kardora or silver waist-belt is a favourite Bania ornament, and though plainly dressed in ordinary life, rich Mārwaāris will on special festival occasions wear costly jewels. On his head the Mārwāri wears a small tightly folded turban, often coloured crimson, pink or yellow; a green turban is a sign of mourning and also black, though the latter is seldom seen.
Chipa family who are traditional dyers and printers,Look the blocks and the dyeing equipments they are having.............

2. Its origin and position.
The Rangāris say that when Parasurāma, the Brāhman, was slaying the Kshatriyas, two brothers of the warrior caste took refuge in a temple of Devi. One of them, called Bhaosar, threw himself upon the image, while the other hid behind it. The goddess saved them both and told them to adopt the vocation of dyers. The Rangāris are descended [430]from the brother who was called Bhaosar and the Chhīpas from the other brother, because he hid behind the image (chhipna, to hide). The word is really derived from chhāpna, to print, because the Chhīpas print coloured patterns on cotton cloths with wooden stamps. Rangāri comes from the common word rang or colour. The Chhīpas have a slightly different version of the same story, according to which the goddess gave one brother a needle and a piece of thread, and the other some red betel-leaf which she spat at him out of her mouth; and told one to follow the vocation of a tailor, and the other that of a dyer. Hence the first was called Chhīpi or Shimpi and the second Chhīpa. This story indicates a connection between the dyeing and tailoring castes in the Marātha Districts, which no doubt exists, as one subcaste of the Rangāris is named after Nāmdeo, the patron saint of the Shimpis or tailors. Both the dyeing and tailoring industries are probably of considerably later origin than that of cotton-weaving, and both are urban rather than village industries. And this consideration perhaps accounts for the fact that the Chhīpas and Rangāris rank higher than most of the weaving castes, and no stigma or impurity attaches to them.
5. Occupation.
The bulk of the Chhīpas dye cloths in red, blue or black, with ornamental patterns picked out on them in black and white. Formerly their principal agent was the al or Indian mulberry (Morinda citrifolia), from which a rich red dye is obtained. But this indigenous product has been ousted by alizarin, a colouring agent made from coal-tar, which is imported from Germany, and is about thirty per cent cheaper than the native dye. Chhīpas prepare sarīs or women’s wearing-cloths, and floor and bed cloths. The dye stamps are made of teakwood by an ordinary carpenter, the flat surface of the wood being hollowed out so as to leave ridges which form either a design in curved lines or the outlines of the figures of men, elephants and tigers. There is a great variety of patterns, as many as three hundred stamps having been found in one Chhīpa’s shop. The stamps are usually covered with a black ink made of sulphate of iron, and this is fixed by myrobalans; the Nīlgars usually dye a plain blue with indigotin. No great variety or brilliancy of colours is obtained by the Hindu dyers, who are much excelled in this branch of the art by the Muhammadan Rangrez. In Gujarāt dyeing is strictly forbidden by the caste rules of the Chhīpas or Bhaosars during the four rainy months, because the slaughter of insects in the dyeing vat adds to the evil and ill-luck of that sunless time.1[432]

1Bombay Gazetteer, Hindus of Gujarāt, p. 178.

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