Pethapur is one of India's leading centres of the production of wooden blocks used in textile printing. It has been a centre for carpentry for centuries now. There were around 300 people involved in the ancient tradition of block making in the past but now there are only 10 to 12 craftsmen left in Pethapur who follow it. The craftsmen start with a rough block of wood; certain types of wood, such as teakwood, are preferred for this. The surface of wood is smoothened before transferring a drawing onto it; the pattern is carefully carved out with the help of different types of small chisels and tiny hand drills. This is a very minute and intricate process; once finished, the patterns on the wooden block look like high relief carvings.
Let's understand the process of wooden block making by visiting the craftsmen who produce them, and allow ourselves to be engrossed in this craft.