The word "Indigo" means a "Blue Color" and is extracted from "Indian Maddar", also known by its botanical name " Indigofera Tinctoria".
Indigo (Neel) dyeing and the use of block-printing to produce patterns on cloth have been known for centuries. The transforming properties of the Indigo plant (ASURI) find a mention in the Atharva Veda and the varied tones of Indigo Blue appear in clothes worn by men and women in the Rock Paintings of Ajanta, Bagh and in the Wall Paintings of Alchi and Tanjore. Indian cloth, with their fast dyes and varied designs was famous throughout the ancient world.
The earliest specimen of Indian dyed and block-printed cloth, apart from the fragment found at Harappa, dates back to the 8th Century. Innumerable fragments of block-printed, dyed cloth have been discovered in the tombs at Fostat in Egypt. An analysis of the Indigo Dye in these Fostat fabrics has led to the belief that the origin of these resist cloth was Gujarat in India.
Printing has been traditionally carried on by the residents of Kutch - Gujarat and these printers called themselves "KHATRIS". The "Khatris" of Kutch - Gujarat were originally from Sind and from there they migrated to different printing centers of western and Northern India.
"Vegetable Dyes" or "Natural Dyes" are organic dyes extracted from Indigo - plant,Saffron, Indian Madder Root, Henna, Bark, Fruit Peel and Leaves and Flowers of various plants. Vegetable Dyes have been existence for several centuries.
"Artificial Dyes" are synthetic dyes and evolved only in the mid 19th Century although their evolution was quicker as they were cheaper and quicker to extract being a by-product of coal tar.
Block printing using Vegetable Dyes can be traced to the early 15th Century. This Art of Block-printing using Vegetable Dyes has been passed within the family from generation to generation. This ART FORM has been practiced in our family for the last Five generations.
We are pioneers in using Vegetable dyes to print on Silk and Woollen fabrics after having done extensive research and experimentation.
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