Bagh Print is a traditional hand block print with natural colours, an Indian Handicraft practised in Bagh, Dhar district in Madhya Pradesh, India. Its name is derived from the village Bagh on the banks of the Bagh River. Bagh print fabric with replicated geometric and floral compositions with vegetable colours of red and black over a white background is a popular Textile printing product.
Bagh Print, as it is presently known in Madhya Pradesh, was started by the community of Muslim Khatris (they were converts to Islam under the influence of a sufi saint) in 1962 when they migrated from Manawar to Bagh. Their antecedents are traced to Larkana in Sindh (now in Pakistan) from where they shifted base to Marwad in Rajasthan and then to Manawar; the printing technique prevalent in Sind which they practiced is known as Ajrak prints. However, the reasons for their migration from Sindh across the Indus is not clear. They came with their traditional art form of the block printing process and continued at their new place of settlement but with innovations to meet the local trends and practices in the region; this came to be known as Bagh printing as they settled on the banks of the Bagh river in the village of the same name. In this printing technique the cloth used is cotton and silk cloth which are subject to treatment of a blend of corroded iron fillings, alum and Alizarin. The designs are patterned by skilled artisans. On completion of the printing process, the printed fabric is subject to repeated washing in the flowing waters of the river and then dried in the sun for a specific period to obtain the fine luster.
Weaving and hand block printing process with the geometric designs, imaginative use of red and black natural colours and taking advantage of the chemical properties of the river and effective use of colours results in Bagh Prints in a unique art form. The process involves pre-printing, printing and post printing.