The Art of Making Ajrakh
Making Ajrakh print fabric is a long and arduous process and is deeply connected with water and its quality. It is said that the iron content of the water decides the outcome of the fabric. There are several stages involved in making Ajrakh. First, ajrakh material is made using the resist printing technique. This unique technique allows the absorption of dye or natural dye only in the intended areas according to the desired pattern. Then, the fabric is washed several times using mordants, oils and camel dung to get the desired effects and vibrant colours.
Once the fabric goes through the many steps before the final dyeing, the material is ready for Ajrakh printing. The artisans use a special resist paste and then start dying; this step is repeated several times before the final design is achieved in deep red and indigo shades. Although Ajrakh printing takes a lot of time and effort to make, it is said that the longer the wait time between the steps, the final look of the fabric will be more mesmerising. A well-made Ajrakh material can take 2-3 weeks to make. One can only imagine the skills possessed by the artisans that make these Ajrakh Hand Block Print fabrics. Earlier, cotton was the primary fabric used for printing Ajrakh. However, with demands for different materials taking over, materials such as cotton-silk blends, silk, modal, chanderi etc., are incorporated for making traditional Ajrakh prints.
Demand in Local and Global Markets
Ajrakh print fabric has gained immense popularity recently, owing to the newfound interest in artisanal fabrics. As a result, many homegrown designers have woken up to fine quality fabrics that are unique and deeply rooted in our culture. Ajrakh is one such fabric in India's list of intricately woven or dyed fabrics.
With a plethora of unique prints and fabrics, Ajrakh print has been used to offer various products in the markets. Ajrakh dresses, Ajrakh sarees, dupattas & stoles are all celebrated in India and worldwide. Many designers have even crafted home decor using Ajrakh prints. Many small home-grown brands makeAjrakh Print Items such as potlis, handbags, Kurtis and Ajrakh designer wear, notebooks and trendy Ajrakh kaftans.
Things Which Make Ajrakh Unique & Distinctive:
Ajrakh stands out for its vivid patterns put together after 22 stages of very diverse and time-consuming preparations for the outcome. Ajrakh hand block print fabrics mostly use natural dyes and hand-carved wooden blocks for printing. The primary colours in Ajrakh are crimson-red derived from madder plants. Indigo blue comes from the Indigo plant. Iron shaving, millet flour, and molasses mixed with tamarind seeds make black dye for printing.
Why Buy From iTokri?
iTokri, an Indian handicraft store has a unique collection of handloom, hand-embroidered, and hand worked products online. All our products are directly sourced from master artisans and shipped to the customers to ensure that we provide the most authentic products. iTokri believes in building a long-lasting and trusting relationship with its customers across the globe. Our vast collection of clothing, silver jewellery and accessories is unmatched online. We are your one-stop-shop for Indian fabrics online, handloom sarees, Indian art and Diwali gifts online. We take bulk orders too.
What is the most popular Ajrakh Print?
Ajrakh print is distinguished by the elaborate motifs used in its printing. These are primarily geometric, jewel-type shapes that symbolise nature and elements such as flowers, trees etc. The most common motif found in Ajrakh is a trefoil, representing the unity of water, earth and sun.
Where is Ajrakh Print made in India?
Ajrakh print is done primarily in the Kutch district in Gujarat and Barmer in Rajasthan. However, the Khatri community has been printing Ajrakh for centuries and has its roots in the Indus Valley civilisation.
Is Ajrakh a fabric?
Ajrakh is a type of printing done on different fabrics such as cotton, cotton-silk blends, silk, chanderi, modal silk and more.
How are Ajrakh Prints made?
The process of making Ajrakh prints is very methodical and tedious. It takes 22 stages of different aspects to make Ajrakh print fabrics. First, the material is dyed using resist-dyeing to get its beautiful and intricate patterns.