Draft Itinerary for Mud-Resist Block Prints & Indigo Dyeworkshop

Workshop Leaders : Natalie Gibson, Di Livey and Raj Kanwar

Venue :Ojjas printworks in Bagru, outside the city

Workshops run from Sunday 3rdFebruary to Sunday 10 thFebruary 2019

Please meet on the Diggi Lawn to leave at 9.15am each day

Introductions and Welcome Tea, Sunday 3rdFebruary, 4.30 – 6pm:

You will be introduced to the Workshops programme, and meet your teachers and fellow participants to discuss the week’s itinerary.

Day 1, Monday 4thFebruary, 10 – 4pm:

As an introduction, Raj Kanwar will give a tour of her workshop and explain the complexities of the ‘dhabu’ mud-resist process, so that you understand the technique before starting your own printing. You will be able to select ready-carved wood blocks before starting your own hands-on preliminary sampling.

In the afternoon, your teachers will take you to visit the khadi stores to buy white garments for printing and dying, and a local haberdashery emporium to buy textile accessories. During the workshop, you will be able to print small items including scarves or kurtas, as well as larger meter-lengths of fabric.

8.30 - 11pm: Evening Concert at Diggi

Day 2, Tuesday 5thFebruary, 10 – 4pm:

You will be taught how to dye with indigo, and experiment with the block print process to produce samples of different designs, under the guidance of Natalie, Di and Raj. You will create patterns with stencils and woodblocks, and hand paint or print your base cloth with mud resist paste, leaving it to dry and commencing the dyeing process. You will learn to feed the printed fabric into the indigo vat and the vegetable dye containers yourselves.

Day 3, Wednesday 6thFebruary, 10 – 1pm:

After the indigo process, other colours may be created by over-dyeing to produce multi-layered effects. Kassis, a dye produced from iron deposits, gives shades of grey and brown. To create shades of green, the indigo-dyed cloth can be over-dyed with a solution of pomegranate rind and turmeric powder.

2pm: Workshops Expedition to a place of historical and artistic interest

Day 4, Thursday 7thFebruary, 10 – 4pm:

You will be introduced to printing with more finely carved printing blocks, and pigment dyes including special gold. You can embellish and overprint your finished mud and indigo work with pigment printing, or experiment with the process to create new pieces.

8.30 - 11pm: Evening Concert at Diggi

Day 5, Friday 8thFebruary, 10 – 4pm:

You will continue with printing, painting and dyeing on your chosen garments and fabrics, and help washing out the mud from the finished work by treading the fabric in the washing troughs! There will also be the opportunity to experiment with the different tie-dye resist processes. You will finish off your work in preparation for the final exhibition.

Day 6, Saturday 9thFebruary, 10 – 1pm:

You will visit the famous block-printing town of Bagru, to see artisan printing and block makers on the streets.

6 – 8pm: Evening Concert at the City Palace

Day 7, Sunday 10thFebruary

11 – 1pm: Workshops Exhibition on the Diggi Lawns

1.30 – 4pm: Traditional Rajasthani Farewell Lunch at the privately owned Saba Haveli in the old walled city of Jaipur. There will be plenty of photographic possibilities and the opportunity for kite flying.

This marks the end of the Wonderful Workshops programme.

Please note:

Additional shopping in the bazaar and tailoring expenses are optional and not included in your workshop fee.

The amount of natural dyes used by each participant is limited, as this is an increasingly rare commodity. You will be supplied with 5 metres of cloth and we recommend that you work on up to 5 garments, maximum 8.

The emphasis of this workshop is the hands-on experience so please do not approach the factory workers to do the work for you!

We recommend that you bring aprons and shoes such as plimsolls for this workshop, and rubber gloves for dyeing; and perhaps an old or pre-washed pure cotton or linen garment you would like to print or dye.

Whilst everything will be done to ensure your safety during the course of these workshops, you agree to participate at your own risk.

Itineraries may be subject to minor modifications due to local factors


Nathalie Gibson is an internationally recognised textile designer, who is currently Head of the Fashion Print Course at Central St Martin’s College of Art & Design.

She has produced collections for major international fashion houses, and her work has been widely exhibited including with Conran, the RCA, Aram Designs and the Victoria & Albert Museum

Di Livey is an experienced textile artist and painter and is Senior Lecturer in Textiles & Applied Print at Middlesex University, and visiting lecturer at other institutions. She has exhibited her work worldwide including at the ICA, John Moore’s, Kettle’s Yard and the Serpentine Gallery

Raj Kanwar founded Ojjas to work with the revival, innovation and contemporary usage of traditional techniques and designs, to achieve new dimensions in the timeless appeal of hand block printed textiles. The craftsmen create poetry on cloth, printing a fabric with a combination of 6 or 7 designs in 4 or 5 colours, handling 35 blocks, stamping up to 2000 times with perfect placement and precision.