Very often, Bagru and Dabu printing are grouped together, but if one pays close attention, the distinct styles of the two techniques becomes apparent. Dabu printing is an ancient mud resist hand block printing technique native to Rajasthan. It is commonly acknowledged to the village of Akola in Chittorgarh district of Rajasthan. A design is sketched onto the fabric, covered with clay on which dust is sprinkled. The dust ends up sticking to the fabric as the clay dries and once dried, the entire piece of fabric is dyed in preferred colours. Post dyeing, the fabric is washed to remove the dust and clay, and the fabric can be dyed in a lighter shade to colour the patterned areas.
Bagru, a small village slightly away from Jaipur is home to natural dyes and hand block printing. It is also home to the Chippa community, that has been involved in this form of printing tradition for over a century. In Bagru printing, a design or a pattern is first carved on a wooden block and then using desired colours, used to print the carved designs on fabric. The fabric is first smeared with earth and dipped into turmeric water to get the preferred cream colour onto the fabric. Then the wooden block designs are stamped onto the fabric using natural dyes.
Both these forms of printing are very popular and the printed fabric is used to make a wide range of products from sarees to dupattas to dresses to bags and much more.