What Is Greige Fabric And How It Is Used In Bagru Hand Block Printing?
Everything you wear was once a greige material. In simple definition, Greige (or “grey”, this is how it is locally pronounced) is a raw or unfinished woven or knitted fabric before bleaching or dyeing. Manufacturing of Greige material starts from the process of spinning fiber of unlimited length. Spinning process takes out all the impurities from fiber. Thereafter the yarn is adjusted on warping machine which is called weaving machine or loom in general language. Earlier in time hand woven machines were used for weaving but now advanced technology machines are doing it for humans.
Good quality of greige fabric ensures longevity of finished fabric or garments. For block printing, it is used in both forms – before and after processing. When using processed or white fabric, 100% cotton is used in Bagru hand block printing because cotton has more absorbent capacity than other cloths like polyester, nylon, etc. In the process of block printing, wooden blocks are hammered from the back so that fabric can absorb more color. The more fabric will absorb colour, the more print will be enhanced on fabric.
Greige of cotton fabric is the purest form of “cotton fabric” and so it absorbs more color than processed fabric. This is one of the reasons why only greige is used in Dabu printing process. It can be explained in this way also that Dabu printing is a mud resist process where mud is applied through wooden blocks on fabric. This mud works as colour resistant and resists fabric to absorb indigo dye when dipped. So in the end of the process whole fabric has indigo color except the places where mud was applied. Since greige fabric has more absorbent capacity, it absorbs mud better than a processed or whitened fabric and this is why only greige fabric is used for Dabu printing process.
I should also mention that greige material has its natural odor and impurities which vanishes after bleaching or dyeing. It also has a natural colour which is usually pale. Greige fabric also shrinks after washing like processed or finished fabric. For making this fabric suitable for block printing Greige fabric is bleached to discoloration by using hydrogen peroxide, sodium hypochlorite, etc. chemicals. Whitening treatment is done to make fabric look whiter and then this white fabric is used directly for hand block printing.
In Ekaadri good quality of Greige is used because printing quality and fabric quality also depend on greige material. No matter what your order quantity is you have right to know everything about your fabric and thus Ekaadri provides samples of all Greige, bleached and printed fabrics. Share, like or comment and do not forget to know your fabric the next time you buy.
Thanks for reading. Anushree.