Dinesh Kumar is an expert in block printing from Rajasthan, India. He produces homewares including quilts, bedding and comforters, and clothing. He learned the skills of block printing from his father and uncle, starting as a child. The traditional process of hand block printing on textiles, with rich natural colours, has been practiced in Rajasthan for 500 years. Block printing was introduced to the Jaipur region of Rajasthan by the Chhipa community. This community was originally located in Bagru Village, an area now famous for its vegetable dye and mud resist (dabu) block prints. Working to sustain the art form, Dinesh creates designs and employs other block printers from the Chippa community in production.
The art of block printing has been passed down for generations within families and communities and has branched out in recent decades to other regions such as Sanganer, south of Jaipur. In traditional Bagru style block printing, the ‘recipes’ for the traditional plant-based dyes are developed within each family and kept alive from generation to generation. The colours are dependent on the quality of the plants, the water and skill and knowledge of the printing masters. In more recent forms of block printing, such as those practiced in Sanganer, colours are mixed using AZO free pigment dyes.