Ajrakh Prints: Exploring Tradition, Technique and Origin

What is Ajrakh print?

The Arabic word for blue, "azrak," gives rise to the vivid explosion of colours on fabric known as the Ajrakh print saree, a classic Indian block printing method. Because of the intricate patterns, vibrant colours, and use of handmade wooden blocks and natural dyes, it is quite pricey. One of the most important steps in making an Ajrakh print is the natural colouring process. The Ajrakh prints hold a sophisticated and intricate meaning. The procedure involves multiple dying steps for varying tints and could take up to 21 days to finish. Ajrakh prints have become increasingly popular in recent years because of their distinctive and exquisite printing designs and processes.

Ajrakh Prints - Origin and its Cultural Significance

History of Ajrakh Prints 

The distinctive Ajrakh print is a type of block printing that originated in the Indian provinces of Kutch and Sindh, Pakistan. Ajrakh saree has a long history, and printing is believed to have been brought to the Indus Valley Civilization by the Mohenjo-daro people. The hand-carved wooden blocks used to produce the motifs and patterns of the Ajrakh prints are well-known. Designs with components like flowers, greenery, and geometric shapes are often inspired by nature. 

Cultural significance of Ajrakh saree

Ajrakh prints encompasses traditional art forms with a deep cultural legacy. The art has its origins in Gujarat and Rajasthan and is connected to the Muslim artisans living in these areas. Gujarati Maldhari men and women, who were mostly engaged in agriculture and cattle rearing, were known for wearing Ajrakh sarees. But nowadays, sarees are worn for many events like weddings, festivals, and formal gatherings since they have become more and more popular with people from all backgrounds.

Techniques and Process of Ajrakh Printing

Ajrakh print Techniques

Blue, white, red, and black are the main colours utilized in Ajrakh printing, while additional colours are occasionally added in as well. Natural dyes and hand-carved wooden blocks are still used by artists to create elaborate designs. Part of the identity of the Sindh and Kutch regions, the Ajrakh print is a symbol of their rich cultural past. 

Ajrakh Printing Process 

There are two main steps in the Ajrakh printing process: In order to print on Ajrakh print fabric, detailed motifs are carved onto wooden blocks and then transferred to the block. After printing, natural dyes like indigo, madder root, and turmeric are used to colour the cloth. Due to the numerous dying and washing cycles involved, this dyeing procedure can take several days to finish. The entire procedure is quite labour-intensive and calls for a high level of patience and ability.

Eco-friendly nature of Ajrakh print

The Ajrakh prints are not only stunning but sustainable as well. Because all of the materials used to make Ajrakh sarees are naturally occurring and eco-friendly, the Ajrakh prints are also environmentally beneficial. It has a distinctive appearance due to its range of patterns and environmentally sustainable production methods.

Symbolism in the Ajrakh prints 

An essential component of cultural history is the Ajrakh prints. Shawls, sarees, dupattas, and other apparel items were traditionally made with Ajrakh print. The exquisite Ajrakh designs captured the attention of Mughal emperor Akbar in the sixteenth century. The Ajrakh print shows the Mughal similarities. 

The significance of colour selections in Ajrakh prints

Ajrakh printing mostly uses the colours blue, white, red, and black, while additional colours are also visible. The colour scheme is not limited, though, and one is free to experiment and explore a range of tones. Natural colours, particularly vegetable and mineral dyes like indigo, are used in Ajrakh printing. 

How to identify Ajrakh prints?

The intricate geometric and floral design of the Ajrakh print is one of a kind. Look for cloth with a red or blue background and additional vegetable dye colours, such as green and yellow, introduced to distinguish Ajrakh. 

Here are some tips to identify Ajrakh prints;

  • Keep an eye out for the block printing method.
  • Genuine block printed sarees typically feature a striking design, as the dye is applied generously and uniformly. To authenticate them, seek bold, evenly applied prints with crisp, clear designs, devoid of smudges or bleeding.

  • The secret is imperfections.
  • Block-printed sarees frequently exhibit imperfections because of their handcrafted nature using traditional methods. These imperfections may comprise slight colour or print variations, fabric irregularities, or minor design inconsistencies.

  • Check the cloth's quality.
  • Genuine block-printed sarees usually utilize premium materials like cotton, silk, or a combination. The fabric should boast a smooth, soft texture and exhibit excellent draping qualities.

  • Examine the hand-finished details. 
  • Authentic block-printed sarees are sometimes manufactured by hand, with elaborate embellishments such as hand-dyed textiles or hand-stitched hems available.

    Sarees with the Ajrakh print have a rich cultural legacy and history, and the print's design narrates tales specific to the area. Natural colours are used during the eco-friendly Ajrakh saree making procedure. However, the method of block painting requires a great deal of talent, and only experienced artisans can create an Ajrakh saree in this manner. Achieve a stunning and elegant look with an Ajrakh print saree. If you're interested in buying an Ajrakh print saree, head over to the Mpyoshaakh website. Myposhaakh Raavi collections produce a range of Ajrakh print designs at a reasonable cost. With only one click, you may view the collection's variants.

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