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  • Place of origin:

    Sanganer (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1850 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Block-printed cotton

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 122, case WN

Object Type
This length of block-printed cotton was intended to be cut and tailored into garments such as coats and trousers, probably for members of the court at Jaipur, Rajasthan. The town of Sanganer, where this piece was made, was (and still is) renowned as a centre for high-quality block-printed cotton cloth which was established to serve the needs of the nearby Jaipur court.

Materials & Making
Printing with carved wooden blocks is one of the most widespread techniques of textile decoration in India, but is particularly associated with Rajasthan (where this piece was made) and neighbouring Gujarat. The blocks have to be made of extremely hard wood, usually teak, to endure years of repeated use. The most highly esteemed blocks are traditionally those made in Pethapur in Gujarat. The dyes used for the design are indigo (blue) and madder (red), with green made by combining indigo with a yellow dye, probably turmeric.

Design & Designing
This type of orderly design of offset rows of floral motifs has its origins in the Mughal court designs of the 17th century, but has continued to be popular ever since. When pieces like this one were shown at the Great Exhibition in 1851, several British critics were impressed by this type of 'flat' decoration, which they saw as preferable to the heavy, over-naturalistic designs of contemporary Victorian Britain.

Place of Origin

Sanganer (made)


ca. 1850 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Block-printed cotton


Length: 72.2 cm, Width: 51.6 cm

Object history note

Purchased from the Great Exhibition of 1851

Descriptive line

Block print textile, cotton, printed, Sanganer, ca. 1850




South & South East Asia Collection

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