Batik printing is one of the most attractive and important traditional crafts still pursued in Kachchh with certain degree of specialization.
Traditionally, Kutch Batik prints were made by pressing a block dipped in hot piloo seed oil, on cloth. The oil paste was taken off after dyeing to make the original print liven up on the fabric. The introduction of wax, subtly altered the style of the batik prints and this Kutch handicraft actually became more appealing. The cracks in the wax printing made thin, spidery lines of dye to run through the motif, thus creating a beautiful veined appearance. For dyes, the artisans use reactive and naphthol dyes which are derived chemically.
The artisans find it difficult to use traditional natural dyes such as alizarine, rust, turmeric, indigo etc. as they react badly with paraffin wax; they are still searching for the alternatives to paraffin wax, so that the whole process can be made organic and sustainable again.
These Batik workshops of Mundra are grounds of interesting conversations between people, their stained hands and the long stretches of fabrics, between resistive wax and persuasive dyes. The emerging patterns hold within them the very proof of these conversations, the tales of resistance, perseverance and acceptance.