The practice of block printing is about two thousand years old. However, in India, printing and dyeing of cotton developed in the western region (Rajasthan and Gujarat), in the medieval age.
Hailing from the land of Maharajas, block-prints with their intricate patterns would sell as hot cakes in the weekly ‘haats’ and ‘melas’. Saudagars (traders) from all over would come and sell their works to landlords, Kings and their ladies. These exuberant prints were typically made to adorn their turbans and chunris and became famous as Saudagari prints. Later these got popular by their place of origin i.e the villages ('gaam' in hindi) of India, to be called as the ‘Gaamthi’ prints.…vibrant colors, contrasting prints, varied patterns being their characteristic features. The main colors used were, green from hinna, yellow the color of spring from turmeric, blue as in Krishna from indigo and black from rusting iron, near about 27 different colors could be achieved through plant parts and metals.