Evolution of artist communities

The communities involved in the process of block printing were the Cheepa, the Rangrez and the Neelgar.
Cheepa – The Printer: The word Cheepa, which comes from Chaapna (to print) was the community of printers. They would also take the dyed fabric back for washing.
Rangrez – The Dyer: Originating from the word Rang (colour), the Rangrez took the printed fabric to dye it.
Neelgar – Indigo Dyer: Neelgar would solely dye a deep indigo colour, which remained their secret. (more details on this community can be found on the chapter on indigo resist printing)

Religious conversions in these communities and resultant migrations of the workforce have also considerably affected the design of the prints. For example, Muslim printers practised more floral, or geometrical designs, whereas figurative designs were made by the Hindu Cheepas. These changes, although gradual, have contributed to the present state of the craft.



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