Fabric Decoration Arts of India

The tradition of decorated textiles is as rich as the woven one with a vast range of hand block prints, tie-dyed fabrics and embroideries.

Bandhani or Tie and Dye

It is a sophisticated method of tie and dye used for decorating the cloth.  It is an ancient art practiced in many places in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. This technique involves two stages: tying sections of a length of cloth (silk or cotton) and then dunking it into vats of colour. The rainbow-tinged turbans of the Rajputs and the odhnis of women are shaded by this method of resist dyeing. The main colours used in Bandhani are yellow, green, red and black.

Batik Art

It is a resist process in which the fabric is painted with molten wax and then dyed in cold dyes. Multi-coloured batik saris, dupattas and bed sheets are popular for their contrasting colour schemes. Batik is done on a large scale in Madhya Pradesh.


This art involves printing of cloth with carved wooden blocks. Jaipur, Ajmer, Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Jodhpur and Bikaner in Rajasthan are the strongholds of this craft. The floral motifs favoured by the printers of Bagru and Sanganer are Persian in origin and usually have a white or pale background decorated with colorful twigs or sprays.


It is a type of weaving in which small shuttles filled with coloured, gold or silver threads are used to produce highly decorative material. It is done in various styles like butidar, tircha, jhalar, panna hazara, phulwari and toradar.  It is very common in Tanda in Uttar Pradesh.


It is a complex and rather meticulous process that involves the repeated dyeing of the warp and weft threads before the cloth is woven. Andhra Pradesh and Orissa are major centres of ikat weaving in silk and cotton.


This involves hand painting of fabrics using vegetable dyes of deep rich shades.  The motifs may range from gods and goddesses to demons, women, animals and other forms.  These fabrics are used as tapestries and as hangings in temples.  This is practiced in Kalahasti in Andhra Pradesh and in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Orissa and West Bengal.


It is a special process of the Bandhani technique or tie-and dye in Rajasthan that creates a ripple effect. Turbans and odhnis with laharia patterns are generally used on festive occasions, especially the Teej. Jaipur and Jodhpur are major centres of laharia.


The tanchoi style of weaving, which resembles fine miniatures, owes its origin to China and is practiced mainly in Surat in Gujarat.  The tanchoi saris are very popular.

GI Protected Fabric Decoration Arts of India

Below are some of the GI protected fabric decoration / printing art products of India.

Srikalahasthi Kalamkari

Kalamkari or Qalamkari is a type of hand-painted or block-printed cotton textile, produced in parts of India. The Srikalahasti style of Kalamkari, wherein the “kalam” or pen is used for free hand drawing of the subject and filling in the colors, is entirely hand worked. This style flowered around temples and their patronage and so had an almost religious identity. Only natural dyes are used in Kalamkari and it involves seventeen steps.

Bagru Hand Block Print

Bagru is a small town in Jaipur Rajasthan. Bagru is known for natural dyes and hand block printing. Woodblock printing on textiles is the process of printing patterns on textiles, usually of linen, cotton, or silk, by means of incised wooden blocks. It is the earliest, simplest and slowest of all methods of textile printing. Block printing by hand is a slow process. It is, however, capable of yielding highly artistic results, some of which are unobtainable by any other method.

Farrukhabad Prints

Farrukhabad in Uttar Pradesh is famous for textile printing and over the last 200 years has been a source of income of local craftsmen. Farrukhabad in Uttar Pradesh is a veritable treasure house of traditional designs ranging from the classical butis (dots) to the famous ‘ Tree of Life.   Farrukhabad hand printing is famous all over the world and it stands testimony to the craftsmanship of the native artisans.

Orissa Pattachitra

Pattachitra is a general term for traditional, cloth-based scroll painting, based in the eastern Indian state, Odisha. In the Sanskrit language, “Patta” literally means “cloth” and “Chitra” means “picture”. Most of these paintings depict stories of Hindu deities.

Machilipatnam Kalamkari

Machilipatnam Kalamkari is a style of Kalamkari work which involves vegetable dyed block-painting of a fabric. Though the name suggests as Machilipatnam Kalamkari, it is produced at the nearby town of Pedana in Krishna district of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It was registered as one of the geographical indication.

Bagh Prints of Madhya Pradesh

Bagh print is a traditional hand block print with natural colours, an Indian handicraft practiced in Bagh, Dhar district in Madhya Pradesh. Its name is derived from the village Bagh on the bank of the river Bagh. A Bagh print is listed as a geographically tagged and is protected under the Geographical indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act 1999. It was started by the Muslim Khatris in 1962 when they migrated from Manawar to Bagh. In this unique form of form of art cotton and silk clothes are used. The process involves pre-printing, printing and post printing.

Sanganeri Hand Block Printing

Sanganeri is a hand-block printing technique originating from Sanganer, a village in the southern part of Jaipur, Rajasthan. It is famous for textile printing, handmade paper industry, and for Jain temples.

Sanganer prints are one of its own kinds, for the reason that patterns in bright colours are always printed on white backgrounds. Sanganeri Hand block printing received the geographical indication (GI) tag in 2010

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