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Travel Goals Alert: This Village in Jodhpur is the Hub of Artisans who Make Awesome Hand Block Printed Fabrics with Natural Colours!

Places to Visit in Jodhpur: Kankani Village for Dabu Print

Move from the by-lanes of Jodhpur city to explore the sandy and green roughly mixed dual-tone of its countryside. Quite in contrast to the cliched list of 10 places to visit in Jodhpur here the offbeat side of the city awaits for you to explore. The dryness in the air and the thorny bushes make their presence felt. The landscape colours change quite matching the transition from the modern way living to the simple rural life. The one thing but universal in Jodhpur being the vibrancy in colours, surely Rangeelo Rajasthan emancipates itself in its own unique style here.

A topsy turvy Jeep ride with a local tour guide takes one to the settlements of the Bishnoi Clan. Covering one Bishnoi village after another we look forward to reaching this famous village of Jodhpur. In between, we cross patches of bushy forest lands where Blackbucks, Chital and Sambhar variety of deers inhabit in plentiful number. Finally, after a little detour and a halt for deer sightseeing we reached one of the top places to visit in Jodhpur, Kankani Village. It took us about an hours time to reach this village which is located towards the south of Jodhpur.

See the making of Dabu Block Print live at one of the best places to visit in Jodhpur
See the making of Dabu Block Print live at one of the best places to visit in Jodhpur

Kankani, is the same village where the infamous Black Buck poaching case happened. The case involved some top actors from Bollywood. But fondly with the tourists, it garners limelight for its internationally renowned block printing technique. Using simple fundamental nature of organic chemicals the Chhipa community settled here make phenomenal block printed fabrics. These dabu fabrics get buyers from all across the world. In fact, even many top Indian ethnic and home decor brands like Fab India & Anokhi source fabrics for this place.

As per the availability of water, these traditional hand block printers make vivid kinds of block prints. Two of the most popular style of block printing are Bagru print and Dabu print. In Jodhpur, mostly Dabu printing (daboo print) is done as it requires less number of washing.

Dabu (Daboo) Printing Process:

The printing technique followed by the Chhipa Comunity people in Kankani village involves 5 steps to produce one single piece of hand block printed fabric.

Exquisite Dabu style of Block Printing demo going on at Kankani village which makes it one of the most experiential places to visit in Jodhpur
Exquisite Dabu style of Block Printing demo going on at Kankani village which makes it one of the most experiential places to visit in Jodhpur
  • Firstly, the design printing happens on the cloth piece using the wooden blocks and turmeric (Haldi) paste. This forms the desired print over the cloth in a mild yellowish stain.
  • The cloth is sun-dried. Next, to the printed areas lemon application happens. The citric acid in lemon turns the yellow block printed patterns on the cloth to red colour.
  • Post-sun-drying this cloth, on the red coloured block-printed portions, a mud solution is applied. Wooden design blocks or stencils are used for the same.
  • Once completely dried, dipping of this fabric into Indigo dye happens. This gives the no-mud parts of fabric a blue colour.
  • The cloth is finally washed with clean water. In this, the mud also is washed off. The red prints on the fabric can be seen with blue as the base colour.

Similarly, for printing in other vibrant colours different vegetable colours are used. As per the artisans of this place in Jodhpur the entire process involves 95% natural products.

The Designs:

Designs range from traditional to modern in the Dabu print fabrics made at Kankani Village.  This makes it one of the top tourist places to visit in Jodhpur
Designs range from traditional to modern in the Dabu print fabrics made at Kankani Village. This makes it one of the top tourist places to visit in Jodhpur

These traditional hand block printers of Kankani Village in Jodhpur make different kinds of prints for different communities, such as the Patel, Meghwal, Muslims, Rabari, Jat, Bishnois etc. Like the Patel women wear a different patterned lehenga skirt than a Bishnoi woman and so on. According to the local artisans, in villages despite so much modernization around, local people are still particular about the patterns and motifs. They do not buy other community-specific prints. In stark contrast to this, tourists and in urban areas women & men wear block printed fabric of their own choice. Certainly, not abiding with any community-specific print per se. Ignorance sometimes truly is bliss!

Well, noteworthy are the designs they actually make for home decor fabrics and for urban clientele. They have an amazing collection of chevron prints, pretty florals, abstracts. Even traditional hand sequence worked fabrics depicting the Rajasthani culture and royal opulence are available.

Costing:

The price of single-bed linen is Rs. 750 onwards. Whereas double-bed linen will cost you Rs. 1000 onwards.

Pro Tips:

As a buyer myself, the local artisans of Kankani village do not appreciate haggling. So please be polite while negotiating. They only do a discount of maximum 50-100 Rs. not more than that. A lot of hard work goes into making a single piece of fabric so the cost is totally worth it. Further, one wouldn’t find such hand block prints even in Jodhpur city market so exclusivity does come with a price. Moreover, if you opt for buying from brands like Anokhi or FabIndia the same piece of cloth will cost you more.

A little about Chippa Community:

Chhipa Community in Rajasthan is basically Rajputs. However, according to one theory, their origin lies in Nepal. This is the place where they got their name from. ‘Chhipa’ in Nepali means Chhi (to dye) and Paa (to sun-dried). India, Pakistan & Nepal are the places where this community can be seen majorly settled. In India, Chhipa community people are present mainly in northern states & extending till Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. Another theory suggests that the community derived its name from their primary occupation that was Chapai meaning to print.

Have you heard about Bishnois of Rajasthan and their eco-friendly way of living? Click to Read more

So the next time you visit Jodhpur, do visit this village. One can witness the making of exquisite hand block printed dress material and home decor furnishings live. And maybe buy some fabric for self and family or try doing it yourself!

“I’m taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatter’s My Friend Alexa”

(84) Comments

  1. I have been a fashion student and I can’t really express my love for block painting. The traditional way brings an instant brightness & elegance to the garment. Your blog has taken me back in those days of my research. Loved it..

    1. Oh thank you so much dear. It means a lot.

  2. Neha Sharma says:

    I visited Jodhpur for the first time in Feb this year but I had no idea about this village and that tours can be arranged for the same. So, next time I am visiting Jodhpur would definitely love to visit these different communities and check out their traditional work. Thanks for sharing, Judy!

    1. Yes there are tours but be specific of which all village you want to visit. otherwise you will be taken for a ride.. 😉

  3. Alpana Deo says:

    I am a big admirer of handicraft an local craftsmanship. The handwork and love with which they make every piece is commendable. For them its more of carrying forward the tradition.

    1. yes this art involves a lot of hardwork.

  4. I’ve always been in awe of our talented local artisans who follow traditional techniques to give us such beautiful artwork. Block printing is quite tricky. You must’ve had a great learning experience!

    1. Oh yes but more than learning I had am amazing shopping experience.. after all designs were so good.

  5. wow..This is a well researched and detailed post. I love block print. I belong to jodhpur but never visited this place..now I should.

    1. oh really see reading travel posts always are so helpful. Do visit soon.:)

  6. Woww now that’s such a nice blog to know so much about the artisans their cost , techniques etc. Loved reading and knowing so much

  7. I think once everything is sorted and travelling is allowed! I have a long list of accomplishments to meet!

  8. What a remarkable place to experience and live the artistic side of less known India. I love block print and obviously if I travel Jodhpur next time this little place is going to be a stop for sure.

  9. The city of Jodhpur is so rich in more than just cultural heritage. Your post was very informative and interesting, and reading on the handloom and crafts was pleasing to explore.

  10. I really feel to visit and get some stuff from this place. Liked the way it is done, thanks for sharing this !!

  11. yes jodhpur is known for their block prints. they are amazing but the place where we went, i guess they were quoting quite high so we didn’t buy that pretty quilt.

  12. Yes, I have met a few artisans myself in Udaipur. We must promote these for a ecofriendly living and these products really last long.

  13. What a beautiful and well researched post! You must have spent considerable time to learn every step of block printing and the way of life for the community. I enjoyed reading every word. Looking forward to more of your posts.
    #MyFriendAlexa #spoonsandsneakers

  14. Jodhpur Being our home town we have seen these things up close personally . Thanks for Promoting local articians .

    1. Hope I could portray the artisans with full justice.

  15. I am a sucker for block prints and this post was such a delightful read! Hope to visit here, once this Pandemic allows us to!

    1. Seriously just before visiting this place I was in the market trying to buy such similar prints but couldn’t find. and to my surprise I got to see the process and buy also.

  16. Informative post , buying from such local artisian means helping them and avoiding middle men 🙂

  17. So much of awesome work is hidden in the bylanes of India. I remember visiting Rajasthan and trying this. They make you do it when you are there to buy it. Keep spreading awareness about such art and communities. Well crafted post.

    1. Thanks Manav

      1. It’s Manas… Judy ji

  18. Jyoti Jha says:

    Wow, this is beautiful ! Both, the place and the artisan treasure here. Hand block prints with natural colors have always been captivating!

    1. I am using bedsheets purchased from here and they are still having very pakka colour.

  19. I loved reading about this handicraft, the bhisoni clan.. this was a great article. If I get to go to Rajasthan once again.. this place will be in my list.

    1. Please go for sure there is another village where other set of desi activities happen too.

  20. Being native Jodhpur, it is always good to know more about it. I am aware of the block printing and the hard work goes behind it. Your post make artists shine through their work.

  21. I have been to jodhpur once and i remember not being able to decide on what all to buy, the prints there are amazing and the quality was good too. Really love their work!

  22. Would love to visit this place someday.

  23. I was aware of the Bishnoi Community and there one with nature style of living. I have to compliment you on the pictures that brought the prints out so vibrantly.

    1. Thanks Preeti. 🙂

  24. This is a great post on handprints on cloth. Belonging to the family doing textile business. This was great read.

    1. Oh that’s great to know and means a lot to me.

  25. This was a wonderful post. Have always been in awe of Rajasthani prints so it was interesting to read about daboo block printing and about the Chhipa community.

  26. Madhu Bindra says:

    Thank you for such a detailed post and bringing local artisans to light. Wherever we were posted, we always picked up artifacts and handicrafts from local artisans.

    1. Yes aunty actually there is so much hard work in making this hand block printed fabric but still the artisans struggle to get their share of money.

  27. This is beautiful. Indian art forms needs a boost. The way you have covered every detail its amazing.

  28. I love Rajasthani crafts this post is a treat

  29. Wow, such colorful post and such lovely block print designs. I’m a big fan of handloom and block print on cotton is my favorite. Glad to know so much about Kankani village and appreciate their hard work and artwork.

  30. Loving the prints that you have showcased here. Definitely checking out for daboo prints next time I shop. #tmmreads

  31. This is so interesting! I love fabrics and enjoyed watching the snippet video too and reading the details of the process – so much innovation goes into this and each piece brings so much joy to us.

  32. I have been using these Rajasthani blocks at home for my kurtis and curtains but never knew where they were from.Now I know thanks to you.Yes their work is time consuming and we should not haggle with them.

  33. Wow, this is really beautiful. And the most important thing is they use natural colours for doing the block printing instead of artificial colours.

  34. I have never visited Rajasthan but this place has a special connection with me. Such hand block prints are amazing. Thanks for sharing it.

  35. Kiranmayi G says:

    Beautifully written! Such an informative post.

  36. Such a wonderful experience! We had visited a weaver’s village near Jodhpur the last time we were there. For next time, Kankani village will be on my list of places to visit!

    1. whenever you visit next be specific of which all villages they will take you.. otherwise you can be taken for a ride too 😉

  37. It’s amazing how you find these amazing places and how you stick to your goal of sustainable living. Kudos to you!

    1. Thank you so much.. 🙂

  38. Wow… never knew about these. Had heard about Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu where they make the beautiful Kanchipuram silk saris… but this is completely different! Thank you for the details information and the pictures just added so much depth…

    1. I would love to visit Kanchipuram some day too.. have heard about it so much.

  39. I love block prints. We got some at home too.Enjoyed reading this post.Ethnoc handicrafts are important

    1. Great 🙂

  40. I have witnessed block printing in Jaipur and i am planning to travel next years in India only. Thank you for sharing this village, I will keep it in mind while planning my next trip.

    1. Awesome. 🙂

  41. What a lovely post. Thank you for sharing such a rich art and culture form of India. I bought these block prints for my son and we love embossing them on paper/fabrics. What a colorful read on a dull Sunday evening.

    1. Glad you liked it

  42. This was an interesting read. I love handicrafts and make it a point to buy from local artisans wherever I go. Will surely keep this in note whenever I visit jodhpur

    1. superb thanks

  43. I am planning a trip to Jodhpur when things get normal. Will definitely check this out. Block prints last long. I have some stuff with block prints.

  44. These prints look so attractive and surely a lot of effort goes into making those blocks with intricate patterns and the lengthy process of printing them. Such artisans need more limelight.

    1. Seriously, the artisan who was telling us all this had informed us that each cloth piece requires at least two days to get fully prepared.

  45. I had learned about daboo print in an art workship where we were taught how to make our own designs and do in the same way mentioned but using already made colors and not natural colors. This was something new to me. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Maybe for convenience sake the workshop people used already made colours.

  46. I have visited Kankani and have got a few hand block printed bedsheets for myself, well that’s quite famous in and around this region!

    1. Plus the price I feel are reasonable too.

  47. Wow this place is indeed a hub of artists… Block prints are my favourite always.. I m visiting Jodhour soon, will checkout this village too

  48. These designs look pretty and the story of the people of Chippa community who are still into this traditional art is very fascinating. People like you, are definitely helping them and their tradition to survive.

    1. Aww thanks so much

  49. That’s a great post, i live in Rajasthan & had visited jodhpur on numerous occasions still i had no idea about this village. i know the work but not the origin.

  50. I had no idea about this community. Loved the design pic you had shared.

  51. Wow. Such beautiful creations. Hard work shows.

  52. Shamik says:

    Very informative and interesting post. Loved reading it. Thank you for sharing this.

  53. I have been to the place and it was an amazing experience. Apart from block printing stuff you can buy small things which are made by the locals there.

  54. loved reading about Dabu printing. I have always desired to buy something of this type, but unfortunately don’t get good quality in Dubai. It is very interesting to know about the different handicrafts of India

  55. wooww these are beautiful!! a great post

  56. Being a Jodhpur-ite, I feel proud reading this post. You’ve done complete justice to the place, Judy.

  57. Love your attention to detail, how you explained the whole process. Will be among my top destination in Rajasthan!

  58. Nupur | Practicalmum says:

    Such an interesting read and how beautifully you have captured the whole process. Block prints always fascinated me, so hopefully I’ll get to visit this beautiful village some day!

  59. […] It was used not only as a water storage reservoir but also many community rituals & gatherings used to happen here. Even the Rajput royals had a pavilion constructed on one of the sides of this Abhaneri stepwell to be used when they visited here. Today visitors can see few broken pieces of Chand baori kept in the ground level hallway. Apart from this, the water in this baori has turned light green in colour due to algae deposition. By Government orders, going to the bottom floors is restricted and certainly diving in it too is prohibited. In some ways, this baori reminds us of Toorji ka Jhalra which is a stepwell in Jodhpur. […]

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