My most vivid memory of India is a visit to the Anokhi Museum outside of Jaipur. Anokhi is a company and foundation dedicated to preserving hand block printing techniques. The museum, a rebuilt former mansion, is filled with beautiful examples of this old process. You see the different kinds of blocks used, learn about the dyes, and follow the elaborate steps it takes to transform a plain piece of white cloth into a multi colored beauty.
Then we witnessed the printing process itself. In four steps, an artisan made us each small handkerchief sized samples. The tools were simple—fabric, blocks, dye, and a small piece of newspaper to cover parts where he didn’t want the dye to go. He made it look simple, but there was a lot of precision involved.
Anokhi has stores all over India, where you can buy clothes, scarves, bedding, and table wares. But if you can’t make the trip, you can also find their beautiful products online.