LEARN TEXTILE PRINTING WITH ITEEHA
Iteeha conducts art workshops around Mumbai, bringing forth textile printing techniques such as Dabu, Shibori, Tie & Dye and more. The workshops are held at ARTISANS', Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Social, and other venues.
READ SADIYA UPADE'S STORY
My eyes kept returning to the printed dupattas flapping back and forth on the flimsy wire as the tables were padded with layers of white cloth. Were we to make these? We were on the lawns of the Bhau Daji Lad museum for Iteeha’s Dabu block printing workshop, with treated pieces of fabric in front of us. Lemon-coloured, these squares were nowhere close to the many hues of blue of the dupattas that had caught my eye.
Dabu is an ancient mud resist technique, and the first task was just that – to prepare the mud. The black soil, chuna, powdered wheat husk, and natural gum came from a small Rajasthani village called Bagru, as did the artisans who would teach us. Passed through a sieve, the mixture then made its way to our tables, and we set to work. We grabbed blocks from the tables, dipping them in the mud, hastily making a pattern, before losing them to the ever-swelling crowd. I found a flower-shaped one, imprinting it on four corners of my 4x4 before lining up in front of the lawn fan.
It must have made a hilarious picture, for the artisans couldn't resist taking a photograph. Little did we care though, us a motley bunch of college kids, grannies, working women, and even a Japanese group on vacation. The moment it all came together though was when the pale-yellow background turned indigo! Even red! The block-printed pattern, in turn turning white, acted as the perfect offset. The smiles, unconstrained and apparent on everyone's face that instant. Then, a rush then to find more lemony squares to experiment on, to dip in the bucketfuls of dye so that the red and blue talk together. I only had eyes for my piece of indigo sunshine, more precious than the finished dupattas on the wire.