At Varnam, we have always attempted to showcase the versatility and adaptability of our traditional crafts to modern times. We also believe that good design ensures sustainable livelihoods for artisans.
Our new range of mulmul cotton sarees works with the traditional craft of block printing from Sanganer, Rajasthan. It is inspired from our very own toys crafted exclusively for us by our artisans in Channapatna, on the outskirts of Bangalore, Karnataka. The origin of these toys can be traced to the reign of 18th century ruler Tipu Sultan who invited artisans from Persia to train his local artisans. The motifs used in our custom made block prints hence are quirky and colourful. The saree is a standard 5.5 mtrs and has a width of 45 inches. It also comes attached with a contrast blouse (that can also be used as part of the drape if you choose). The blouse shown in the pic is not part of the saree drape.
Sanganer block-printing dates back to the social upheavals of mid-17th century that may have forced Gujarati printers to flee to this city in the Dhundhar region of Rajputana, now known as Rajasthan. Oral tradition suggests that the chhipa families of Jaipur began to shift their work to locations where space and running water were freely available,yet still within easy reaches of the capital city Jaipur. The Kachchwaha Rajput prince, Sangaji, founded Sanganer in the early 16th century and the little dwelling was thriving by the 17th century partially due to its strategic location on major trade routes. The river-banks of Sanganer presented the ideal location with the added benefit of specialist dyers and cloth bleachers residing in the town. These artisans formed a large, supportive community with block printing at the core of their culture.
Handwash in cold water and a simple iron to help retain the colours for longer. No need to starch.