Bagh Printing | UPSC

Bagh Printing | UPSC


Enhancing Livelihoods of Tribal Artisans Through Local Arts and Crafts Traditions: Bagh Printing Training in Madhya Pradesh

      WHY IN NEWS:

Padmashri Yusuf Khatri Imparts Training in Bagh Printing to Tribal Artisans in Barwani Under Trifed Project

MINISTRY? :- Ministry of Tribal Affairs
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 1 : Art and Culture


The training started in February 2020 but had to be halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but was resumed recently.


  • TRIFED is the working with local tribals in the Bagh, Maheshwari and Chanderi (MP) textile crafts to ensure continuous livelihoods.

The first batch of the tribal beneficiaries are being trained by Padmashri  Yusuf Khatri of the Bagh family, a pioneer in Bagh printing.

  • As a part of this training, these tribal artisans have learned to print bedsheets as of now.
  • They are in the process of learning printing on sarees and suit pieces.
  • A second batch of tribal artisans have also been identified to undertake the same training.


  • Barwani in Madhya Pradesh has been listed as an aspirational district due its poor socio-economic development conditions.
  • These aspirational districts have been identified in order to bring about a sustained development.
  • These are closely monitored by the senior officials of the Central Government.

District administration of these aspirational districts in implementing and monitoring of the various development plans.

  • There are no traditional crafts in Barwani district.
  • However in the surrounding districts of Khargone and Dhar, a substantial number of local tribal artisans are engaged in Bagh printing .
  • In some places near by traditional weaving of textiles in the Maheshwari style is practised.
  • Subsequently, TRIFED prepared a comprehensive proposal for training in these three craft traditions.


  • The Khatri family are pioneers of Bagh Printing and have been undertaking it for generations.

Bagh prints are very old print and this is a hand block print with natural color.

  • In it  two main color red & black .
  • Red color comes from alum and black color is iron oxide (Corrosion of iron).


  • In the 16th century, when the King of Mewar Maharana Pratap held meetings with his officials, thick cotton jajams (sheets) on floor .#PATRONS
  • These colourful floral and geometric patterns were spread on mattresses to seat people.

Jajams were also used in marriages and social gatherings, spreading their popularity.

  • They were hand printed using wooden blocks and natural colours by a community of Khatri printers.
  • Nearly five centuries later, the descendants of these Khatris are keeping alive the traditional art by not only making cotton and silk sarees, dupattas and stoles.
  • Madhya Pradesh’s Dhar district is now known for Bagh prints.


  • Mohammed Bilal Khatri received an excellence award from the UNESCO in 2016 for reviving Bagh prints.
  • Bagh printing  received the Geographical Indication (GI) tag in 2008.

Bagh Printing | UPSC

Khatris, who converted to Islam under the influence of a Sufi saint, trace their roots to Larkana in Sindh (now in Pakistan).

  • Some of their relatives in Rajasthan are Hindus and ancestors settled in Rajasthan and Gujarat.
  • They chose to settle down on the banks of the Bagh river from which the village as well as the block printing technique derive their names.


  • Bagh block prints use natural colours made from flowers and other organic products.

Clothes are washed in the Bagh river and hand printed using blocks made from Indian teak or sagwan wood.

  • Khatris trace the age-old prints of paisley or geometric and floral compositions on graphs which are given to block makers.
  • The teak blocks are sturdy and they are soaked in oil to further increase their life.
  • A single piece can be used to print about 5,000 metres of cloth.


  • The whole technique of Bagh printing is very labour intensive.
  • The plain cloth, mostly cotton or silk, is cut as per requirement, washed in Bagh river and dried.

It is then boiled and soaked overnight in a paste made using castor oil, goat dung and a type of salt.

  • Subsequently, it is spread out on the mud floor for twenty four hours.
  • The labourious process is called khara is repeated at least three times.
  • Khara washes away the starch of the cloth completely.
  • The cloth is ready to absorb the colours well.


  • Later the cloth is dyed in a paste of ‘harad (terminalia chebula, a component of triphala) and left to dry in the sun.
  • For printing, the black colour is made using raw iron strips, jaggery, lime and a gum, all of which are put together in an earthen pot for about a fortnight.

Bagh Printing | UPSC


Blue colour is made using indigo leaves, pomegranate peels give mustard colour and the two are combined to get green colour.

  • The colours are poured into wooden trays in which blocks are dipped for printing.
  • After printing, the cloth is left to dry in the sun and after 15 days it is again washed in the flowing river water.
  • Bagh river has high levels of calcium and zinc.
  • This improves the quality of prints and gives brighter colours.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Bagh Print sells about 1.5 lakh metre cloth annually to retailers and aggregators .
  • The handicrafts and products are showcased and marketed at all Tribes India outlets across their country.
  • They will also be on sale on Tribes India’s e-market platform, where the artisans can themselves upload and sell their products.
  • TRIFED continues to strive in its mission to empower these disadvantaged people by promoting the economic welfare of these communities.
     SOURCES: PIB | Bagh Printing | UPSC


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