The artisans practicing block printing belong to Chhipa community. Chhipas are predominantly Hindu and are believed to be the followers of the renowned Marathi Saint Namdev. They are engaged in the craft of block printing since ages. The traditional knowledge of craft skills is transfered from one generation to another. Every member in Chhipa community is involved in washing, dyeing and printing of clothes. However there are number of people who are indirectly involved in the craft as designers, block makers, dyers, tailors, suppliers of raw materials, dealers etc. The Chhipa community, which is engaged in this traditional craft, is settled in Sanganer and the inhabitants/craftsmen have come from various parts of Northern and Western India in different period of time. The dyers and block makers originally came from Punjab or Sindh. The printers are predominantly Hindus, while the majority of dyers and block makers are Muslims. Block printing is practiced all over India in different states with each area having its own particular local aesthetic and style of doing the craft. The main centers for block printing in India are:
• Andhra Pradesh (Kalamkari)
• Gujarat (Ajrakh)
• Rajasthan (Mud Resist and Sanganeri)
• Madhya Pradesh (Bagh Print)
• Uttar Pradesh
• West Bengal
The craft is highly dependent on water sources. Therefore the areas near water resource are much suited to prepare a beautiful hand block printed product. In Rajasthan block printing is done in Sanganer, Bagru, Jodhpur, Akola and Barmer. Each place has its distinctive design elements, color schemes and motifs. The final product can be easily differentiated in terms of region and origin.