A study of history reveals some traces of migration between Gujarat and Rajasthan, as early as the 10th century3. However, migration of artisans did not start till a few centuries later, when Jaipur was created in the 14th century, along with other princely states of Udaipur, Jodhpur and Saanganer (which was founded in the 16th century). By the 17th century, Saanganer was well established, as it was on the most important trade routes, and Jaipur was promoted to being the capital of the state. These developments considerably impacted the emergence of Rajasthan as a commercial centre of textile related crafts4.
It was also around the 17th century that the Cheeapa community came to Rajasthan, for a host of reasons, from lack of work in Ahmedabad to more wealth in Rajasthan to political issues. This also coincided with the 1630-1631 Gujarat famine, during which many printers migrated to Rajasthan.5
While some of these workers migrated back to Gujarat,
many stayed on. Traces of migration can also be found from Utter Pradesh or U.P to other states, where Farukhabaad emerged an important block printing centre. Interestingly, even today, expert printers and block makers are migrating from U.P. to Jaipur, where many factories have opened.