Chamki or Khadi Dyeing in Rajasthan


Dyeing and printing works have gained huge popularity in past few decades in Rajasthan. Chamki or Khadi work improves the beauty of fabrics. 

Chamki or Khadi work, is also called as Tinsel Printing, which has been a long Rajasthani tradition. This type of textile decoration method was extensively used in royal costumes and articles. The dyeing process is popular throughout Rajasthan but it is mainly prevalent in Udaipur, Jaipur, Barmer, Jodhpur and Ajmer which are the main centers for excellent khadi prints. It is charming to view the designer creating beautiful patterns on wedding saris, turbans and odhnis with superb speed and deftness. In ancient times Rajasthani artisans used silver and gold dust for Tinsel printing. Later on it was replaced by affordable metal powder known as bodal or flakes of firmed mica. These days, fine metallic and granular powders are used in diverse colors on silver and gold base, mainly for printing.

Khadi work is mainly done on clothes worn during special occasions. It is also made on different garments such as odhna, kanchli, jama, ghaghra, angarkha, turban cloth and odhna. There is a special type of bridal chunri known as phamri or phavri as an important part of the bride’s outfit. It is also worn on festivals like Teej and Gangaur. The chunri is commonly found in red color with a special design known as khaja, beautifully printed in the middle of the garment. This is an ancient Rajasthani tradition of decorating fabric to use a specific imprinted brass block known as sancha. Sancha is joined with an identical carved wooden data that fits its corners. There are 2 block used together for stamping designs on garments. Sancha is available in a wide range of shapes like rectangular, round, square and oblong.

Sancha or brass block is completely filled with rogan, a thick sticky paste which the craftsman either makes on his own or purchase readymade. The combination is heated and poured into sancha. There is a wooden data put in the brass block with syringe. Then the paste is tightly stamped onto the spread garment equally. It is a quick stamping act but stiff as well allowing the paste to outline an adhesive film on clothing. 

The usual motifs applied in khadi printing include khaja, phul, keri, mogra, buti, khaja, chandani and mor. The ground fabric can be found in any color. The printing method has also gained a lot of fame in recent times. Many outfits made by printing technique are sold in the market.