Located in the southern part of Gujarat is a small town called Jetpur. It is approximately 70 kms from Rajkot. It is known for two things. Narrow confusing lanes and block printing. It is said that when the city was being laid out, the king deliberately made the streets in a way so as to confuse the enemies when they invade. The streets are not very different from any other towns in this region except from the fact that they house the famous tie and dye industry. The area is known for its printed sarees (a traditional Indian attire for women).
There are numerous sheds today where these sarees are block printed. It is done manually as well as using machines. The manual process is very interesting. Fabric is stuck to the table using wax at the edges. Then using porous silk screens, printing is done on the fabric. The whole process happens in various stages and layers. There are separate screens for each layer. After the printing, the fabric is tied to a string for drying. Then the whole fabric is washed in water mixed with corn flour as it has starch. Then it is dried outside and then sent for further finishing.
Another manual process is that of Tie & Dye. In this process, the cloth is tied using cotton string. Then it is immersed into a dye. Wherever the cloth is tied, remains white while the rest of the cloth gets colored. Thus it generates very beautiful patterns of dots and lines where it is tied. The famous Bandhnis and Patodas are made using this method.
This technique is found throughout central and northern Gujarat and in Rajasthan. Beautiful minute patterns are made using these techniques. The sarees have very bright colours as is the tradition is this part of India.