Gujarat blocks another GI Tag: the ‘Pethapur Block’ paintings

February 18, 2019

Recently, the Government of Gujarat was granted Geographical Indication (GI) Tag for ‘Pethapur Block painting’ vide registration no. 585 in respect of printing blocks. The application of registration of Pethapur Block printing was filed by Gujarat Council on Science and Technology (GUJCOST) in August 2017.

Describing the blocks the GUJCOST in the application stated that ‘Pethapur blocks are so perfect in carving that those delicate thin outlines of the design when applied on the cloth using these blocks is so perfect and the color is well contained within the borders of sketch and it appears as though it is sketched and painted on the paper. This perfect design is a combination of many attributes embedded in the final craved block by Pethapur artisans starting from the selection of fine seasoned teak wood from Valsad district to the tailor-made tools and the finesse shown by the crafts man in translating that design on to the block through carving. These attributes are vital and result in the final product that is perfect for printing exquisite design patterns on any piece of cloth.’

The Pethapur Block paintings originated from Pethapur village in Gandhinagar. This place is popularly known as the “The craftsmen village” and has a 300-year-old legacy of block-making for textile business.

The documentation provided by the Dept. of Science and Technology mentioned that a cotton cloth printed by Pethapur printing blocks is kept in the “Victoria Albert Museum” of London, Britain, dating back to 1850 wherein in the description of the cloth mentioned by the Museum refers to most highly esteemed blocks which are traditionally produced in Pethapur in Gujarat.

Narottam Sahoo, marketing consultant to Gujarat Council on Science and Technology (GUJCOST), in an interview to a newspaper daily was quoted saying ‘GUJCOST has decided on most sensible 10 potential merchandise for which the method of ensuring GI tag is on. For the normal art of block making, the tag will supply highbrow property right (IP) and better opportunities.”

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