Making a Tapestry Wall Hanging: Creative Block Printing & Dyeing in India

Pete & Kim India

Mexicali owners Pete & Kim Erskine choosing their favorite block print tapestries.

The traditional Indian print tapestry is a familiar sight to bohemian spirits of all ages and walks of life!  These intricately patterned tapestry wall hangings can turn even the drabbest dorm into a hippie haven, or bring a bit of the boho chic to a tastefully tailored home.  There’s a reason these unimitable tapestries have been around forever–they’re an easy and instant favorite!

Aside from looking groovy, these floral tapestries have a rich history in India, and are still produced using handmade techniques that make each piece a subtly individual work of art!  Although the younger generations of textile artists in India are shifting their focus to less labor-intensive screenprinting, the artisans who create our India print tapestries are keeping tradition alive through hand-dyeing and block-printing.

PAKFIDFFNEPOHKJO_jumboThe Jaipur region of Rajahstan is the epicenter of tapestry-making in India.  Known as the “Pink City” because of the giant pink fort built around its borders, the opulent heritage of Jaipur is evident in the elegance of the tapestry designs it produces.  The intricate floral and animal prints of these block printed tapestries are heavily influenced by the tastes of the royalty who at one time were the niche market for this type of wall hanging textile art. PAKFADMKAJEHGNJO_jumboWhile mandala tapestries always have a background of one of four colors, traditional block print tapestries are usually created with colored ink on white or off-white fabric.  Wonderfully detailed floral prints are printed using intricately carved wooden blocks, pressed into the fabric by hand, with different colors and patterns layered upon each other to create a harmoniously colorful whole.

Here’s a video we recorded of a block print tapestry being created in Jaipur:

We travel frequently to India and other far-flung locales , importing responsibly through creating and maintaining long-term and mutually beneficial relationships with the artisans and families who create our merchandise.  We are proud to offer tapestries, reversible block print bags, bohemian scarves, and other cool decor items that are created using block printing and other traditional techniques!

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