To start the process wooden blocks, traditionally made of teak, though nowadays mango wood is often used, are carefully carved with the motifs to be used. Rubber blocks can also be used and are softer to carve but the smaller design details cannot be cut into rubber as well as they can be into wood and therefore for truly intricate patterns wood is preferred.
Once the blocks are prepared lengths of washed and sun-dried cotton fabric are spread out over tables, a guiding chalk line is drawn on the fabric and the first block is dipped into the natural dye to be used - madder for red, indigo for blue and saffron for yellow, These are the three primary colours that can be mixed to make a rainbow of hues. The block is then carefully placed onto the fabric and either struck by hand or by a wooden mallet to produce a clear image. The block is placed repeatedly in neat lines across the fabric which is then hung to dry. Fabric may be stamped many times with different colours and different blocks until the desired pattern is completed. As the printing is done by eye small imperfections may occur but this is all part of the charm and individuality of the process.