Bagh print, named after its place of origin, Bagh, located in Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh, is over a thousand years old art of block printing. The imprints on material in Bagh print is done with different varieties of designs carved in wooden blocks. Wooden blocks are carved with complex and detailed designs. Design inspiration is drawn from the landscapes and geometrical figures. Artisans say that one piece of cloth goes through several stage processes of printing, washing, block imprinting, bleaching, dye correction and finishing. All these processes take about 8 days per cloth before it is called Bagh printed cloth.
The fabric starts its journey with initial washing. It is followed by soaking it in solution of rock salt, castor oil, goat dung, etc. Bagh prints are dyed by using blocks made of teak or sheesham wood. Dyes for bagh printing have their sources from plants, fruits, flowers and minerals. Most common colored Bagh prints include red, black, indigo, mustard and khaki colors. Once the fabric has rested, it is washed in running water and beaten against river stones. In its final stages, it is boiled in water along with a couple of ingredients and bleached followed by washing a couple of times. Bagh textiles are usually cotton based and quite soft. These are an all time wear as they can be used in all seasons and climates. From scarves, dupattas, and kurtas to patialas and salwar – Bagh prints can be mixed and matched to give a trendy casual look.