A manifestation of the design sketch into reality, the process of block-making marks the beginning of the production process of a typical OMARA style. Laborious yet rewarding, it involves many stages.
Tracing of the design (likhai) with calligraphic charm, the first stage involves recreating the sketch on a Wooden block. Creating depth and dimension, each block is then carefully carved to capture the finest of details. The main block that represents the outline of a printed pattern is referred to as the Main Block or the ‘rekh’. The smaller blocks that fill out colour in the motifs are individually known as ‘datta’, while the intricate jaal prints require a different kind of block called ‘nas’.
Employing an artillery of tools, the artisans sculpt these elaborate motifs into existence. Chiseled to perfection, a millimeter’s worth of distance can be depicted in the patterns orchestrated within the crevices of these blocks. Rough around the edges, yet refined in its intricacies, the art of block-making is truly remarkable.
A little known fact about hand block-printed styles is that as per common practice, even a single buti motif usually requires multiple blocks to be recreated on fabric.