Originated from the lands of Rajasthan, Dabu is a hand-block printing technique to dye clothes using the resist method.
A mud mixture, Dabu, is made from local black clay (kaali mitti), wheat powder, guar gum, and lime water. Plain bright fabric is tinted yellow using Harda powder. The wooden block, with a carved design, is used to hand-print Dabu on the tinted fabric.
To prevent the fabric from sticking to itself, a layer of sawdust is sprinkled.
The patterns printed with the mud-resist mixture are left to dry. The fabric is then dyed, leaving the mud motifs uncolored. Traditionally, dyes are naturally obtained.
Motifs for Dabu are inspired by nature and our surroundings. They include peacocks, mangoes, leaves, sunflower, and animal figures. Sometimes wavy lines, dots, and various geometric shapes are also used.
Indigo plant (Neel) is used for blue, Harda powder or Turmeric (Haldi) gives yellow, and Madder is used for red.
Indigo Dabu print designs are immensely popular. They not only beautify your clothing but add artisanal value to it.