Block Printed Textiles of India: Imprints of Culture
In Imprints of Culture, Eiluned Edwards describes how one of the subcontinent's foremost crafts has played a key role in the creation of visual identity in India and has also been a significant source of revenue through centuries of international trade. It reveals how block prints are integral to both caste dress and modern urban style. Used nowadays for soft furnishings and fashion, they have become a perennial favourite with Indian designers and in the global fashion market. Contemporary production and use of block prints is explained, and the social and historical roots of the craft are outlined.
These textiles embody richly diverse histories shaped by trade, conquest and colonisation, technological innovation and entrepreneurship; they are part of an ebullient visual and material culture that absorbs all influences and makes them Indian. It reflects the author's extensive field research over the past twenty-four years- working with block printers, block makers, dye producers, entrepreneurs, designers, government agencies, and non-governmental organisations, in museums and private collections all over India. This book is lavishly illustrated and crates a vibrant account of the development and recent regeneration of the craft, confirming that block prints are stamped with the imprints of an ancient, diverse and ever-evolving culture.