Exploring The Popularity Of Ajrakh Modal Silk Sarees


The Ajrakh modal silk sarees are mainstream Indian sarees that have Ajrakh print on the fabric of modal silk. Modal is a fabric that comes as a result of blending modal and silk. Modal is a type of rayon fabric characterized by the softness, breathability, and fluidity of the fabric. Using silk with this fibre results in a fabric that is luxurious, soft, has a nice shimmer, and is lovely.

Ajrakh is an ancient handloom technique which started in India from Gujarat and Rajasthan states. Ajrakh silk weaving tradition involves weavers using handloom to interlace silk yarns into fabrics having Kurrach designs and motifs. It takes great accuracy and much of attentiveness in weaving to see to it that the intricate patterns are correctly reproduced on the cloth. Following the completion of this procedure, it will be treated with the Ajra Kh (Ajrakh) graphical printout.

Handloom weaving, block printing and even natural dyeing are the Indian textile art crafts incorporated in artworks such as Ajrakh sarees. They are not merely depicting the blending of tradition, creativity and heritage, but are making the whole textile legacy of India.

The legacy behind Ajrakh prints

Ajrakh pattern is printing on both sides through a resist dyeing printing method. In fact, it consists of two parts of which the first one is to delicately cut the wood into different shapes and lines and the second one is to make variety of figures and objects on the surface. First dyeing with natural dyes is carried out and an appropriate fabric is then stamped with the desired pattern. Thereupon they go through dyeing procedures using an indigo, madder root, and turmeric. During this time that lasts several days, dyeing and washing of fabric is undertaken with the employment of various techniques.

Ajrakh Block Printing Process

The procedure of block prints takes from 10 to 15 days while the main point is that the blocks need enough time in order to be improved. The wof [further into:] the fabric is washed of starch, tie-dyed, washed of extra [and] color, and finally dried in the sun. The hues are sphered and separated into an array which also houses glue and binder agents. This provides for a perfect surface for colors to build on and for them to be applied without any difficulty.

Besides this, these blocks are cut from the wood of teak, sycamore and pear. They start with them being scrupulously sculpted by craftsmen who firmly outline their intricate designs on paper using chalk paste or a pencil. This is followed by the soaking of the timber in oil for approximately 10 and 15 minutes which makes the timber more absorbent. This process is called oil bath (also called oil soak)and is not in the Ancient Egyptian carpentry practice.

Then the colour getting ready, the blocks will be dipped into the compound and then pressed into the fabric. This fabrication will continue until the whole fabric is covered. Peculiarly, only high-quality materials are used, which supposes there must be no motif cuts at all. Further blocks are also handled in a similar manner if different colours are to be used and the artisans have to wait for the surface to be completely dry before starting the next procedure.

The fabrics are left to dry in the sun while they are rolled using newspaper to make them not stick to one another. Here they are immersed in a sink for a few minutes, again washed, dried and ironed.

Among the three commonly undertaken printing techniques in India are direct process, resist printing and discharge dyeing printing. In direct printing the fabric is being bleached first, dyed second step and third step is done using carved blocks producing the identical print for every item in line. In printing we print the material in such a way that some areas of the fabric should not be dyed. This is attained by using a resist plate to protect the said areas from exposure to the dye. Resist agent is not in the parts where dyeing takes place is the only place the fabric has gotten the colour. Next thing is, the resist is taken off and the material is printed with that particular pattern. The third type of discharge printing employs chemical assistants, to discharge portions of the dyed fabric and follow with other colors for filling in.

Types of Natural Dyes in the Ajr

Natural dyes can be categorized as three groups - from the plants - called vegetables, from the animals - called animals and from the minerals - called mineral dyes. Some of the common techniques are:Some of the common techniques are:

Direct application: This method is the easiest one and therefore, it involves the transferring of the dye material directly to the fabric with the help of a printing machine. Dyeing presents various techniques, including boiling the garment in the dyeing component or soaking the article in the dye.

Mordanting: The mordants is a chemical , if you didn't use mordants the dye could fade or be run right off , it's key while making a dye to be used with a mordant. Alum, iron, copper and tannins are typical mordants for dying natural fibers. Many fabrics are usually mordanted before dyeing to ensure colour fastness.

Batik: Wax -resist dyeing is the term used for a technique that involves wax applied to fabric before dyeing is used to create these patterns. The vacant wax encounters the dye solution, and then the remaining wax is removed out of the fabric which leaves behind a reversed pattern.

Shibori: Shibori is the Japanese method of fabric folding, pinching, or binding to create the imprinting as a result of the dyeing process. Folding, clamping, rolling, and tying are among various techniques of creating patterns using Shibori such as Itajime (pole wrapping), Arashi (pole wrapping), and Kumo (thread wrapping).

The renown of ajrakh sarees is due to their sophisticated craftsmanship and spectacular designs expressing a beautiful culture, which may studiously be passed from generation to generation. The name "Ajrakh" has its origin in the Arabic word "zrk" which is the equivalent of blue in English language, this describes the common and intense colours used in Ajrakh prints to a larger extent. Block printing by hand, natural dyeing, using a resist method, repeating designs, hand finishing, and cultural imageing are the dated skills involved in Ajrakh sarees.

There are several sustainable approaches related to Ajrakh sarees that involve projects that seek to lessen environmental problems, conserve resources, aid local people, and keep the artisanship. Among the rainbow of sustainable textile practices that are being implemented, they selected the use of natural dyes, water conservation, energy efficient practices, local sourcing of materials, fair trade practices and waste reduction and recycling.


The appeal of modal silk fabric in Ajrakh sarees

Modal silk fabric has several benefits. Modal is soft, smooth and similar to silk in texture. It has a luxurious feel, but has the benefits of cotton. A big advantage of modal is wear comfort. The smooth and soft fabric makes you very comfortable. In addition, modal is a breathable fabric that absorbs 50% more moisture than cotton. So you won’t feel sweaty or sticky while wearing it. Modal is also easy to dye, as it requires less energy and chemicals as compared to cotton. Modal fabric lasts for a long time. The fabric maintains its colour for a long time, does not shrink and the fabric does not develop pills when rubbed or worn repeatedly. It is also a very durable fabric. The beech wood used for modal comes from sustainably managed forests. Also, beech trees require less water than cotton plants.

Modal is technically a sustainable fabric as it is made from natural materials and is completely biodegradable. Modal is only made from the wood pulp of a renewable beech tree. Beech trees don’t need chemicals or pesticides and require only minimal irrigation. They can also grow on land that is inappropriate for other vegetation. Hence, beech trees are renewable and sustainable natural resources that yield under proper care and management.


Modern saree trends

The importance of sarees in Indian culture is quite crucial. The saree holds a rich cultural legacy, spanning over 5000 years in our timeline. They have gone under worldwide impact on the current occasions because of their interest all over the globe. Some of the latest trends are:

Thin borders – Sarees are being minimalistic. Sarees with thick and heavy borders are being replaced with thin borders in zari work, mirror work and embroidery.

Double fabric - A unique-looking piece of garment is created using double fabric as each half is created using separate fabric.

Pastel silk sarees - The luxurious and smooth touch of silk is getting quite popular among women. Also, they are ideal for women of all skin tones and body types.

Concept sarees – Pleatless concept sarees with stylistic outlines are trending among women. They are easy to wear and simple to carry.

Along with these, Ajrakh sarees fit into modern trends through ethnic revival, sustainable fashion, versatility, celebrity endorsement, blending tradition and fashion and global appeal.

Symbolism and stories woven into Ajrakh patterns

The origin of Ajrakh can be traced to the region of Sindh, located in present-day Pakistan. It is believed that the craft of Ajrakh making has been passed down through generations, carrying the essence of tradition and cultural heritage. Some of the print patterns are:

Sacred geometry

These print patterns often feature intricate geometric designs, which hold significant symbolism. The repetitive patterns such as stars, circles and squares, reflect the concept of unity and the interconnectedness of all things. These designs are inspired by the principles of sacred geometry which symbolizes harmony, balance and spiritual unity.

Elements of nature

Nature holds a special place in the symbolism of Ajrakh print patterns. Designs often incorporate elements like flowers, leaves, and birds, representing the link between humans and the natural world. These motifs include the harmony, balance, and rhythm of nature and serve as a reminder of our relationship with the environment.

Cultural identity and pride

Ajrakh print patterns are deeply rooted in the cultural identity of the Sindhi people. The designs are a reflection of their values, beliefs, and way of life. Wearing Ajrakh is a source of immense pride and serves as a symbol of cultural heritage, creating a sense of belonging and unity within the community.

Storytelling and traditions

Each Ajrakh print pattern tells a unique story. The motifs are often inspired by local folklore, legends, and historical events, capturing the essence of the region's traditions and narratives. Ajrakh becomes a medium for preserving and passing down these stories, ensuring that cultural heritage is celebrated and cherished.

Animal kingdom

Some Ajrakh patterns incorporate motifs inspired by the animal kingdom, including birds, elephants, peacocks, and fish. These motifs symbolize strength, wisdom, protection, and abundance.


Ajrakh Modal Silk Sarees Ascend on the Global Stage

Celebrity saree fashion trends are inspiring the saree look of ordinary women. The following are some of the celebrity fashion saree trends.

Traditional: Celebrities are increasingly opting for sarees made from traditional handloom fabrics like Kanjeevaram, Ajrakh, Banarasi, and Jamdani. These sarees are beautiful and unique.

Colour combinations: Celebrities are now experimenting with bold and unique colour combinations, like neon green and pink or fuchsia and orange.

Modern drapes: Celebrities are also experimenting with modern drapes that are more casual or formal, depending on the occasion.

Fusion wear: Sarees can be dressed up or down, and celebrities are proving this by pairing them with modern elements like jackets, belts, and sneakers.


Some of the sustainable fashion choices to follow are:

  • Think before you buy something
  • Invest in sustainable fashion brands
  • Consider secondhand and vintage items
  • Take care of your clothes
  • Support sustainable fashion initiatives


Ethnic wear on the red carpet is a growing trend that showcases the diversity and richness of cultural attire. Celebrities have been wearing sarees, lehangas, anarkalis, sherwanis etc on the red carpet to get an ethnic look with elegance and grandeur.

Ajrakh sarees are not commonly seen on the red carpet as a symbol of fashion trends. But they have been famous among celebrities for their unique craftsmanship and cultural significance. Celebrities such as Sonam Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra, Kangana Ranaut and Dia Mirza have worn Ajrakh sarees on the red carpet. The influence of these celebrities has helped to highlight the craftsmanship and beauty of traditional Indian textiles and to popularise Ajrakh sarees on an international scale.

Ajrakh modal silk sarees are the example of a perfect blend of tradition and style. The history of Ajrakh sarees can be traced back to the regions of Gujarat and Rajasthan. Ajrakh sarees are traditionally made using block printing techniques and natural dyes. Even though modern Ajrakh sarees are available in the market, the demand and value of traditional Ajrakh sarees are still high due to its rich cultural heritage. The soft and smooth fabric makes Ajrakh sarees comfortable to wear. The vibrant colours along with the intrinsic patterns have made the saree visually attractive. Fashion shows, exhibitions and celebrities wearing the saree on many occasions have fuelled the global appeal of Ajrakh sarees. The journey of the Ajrakh saree started in the regions of India and now it has reached global admiration even among international designers.

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