What Is Ajrak Fabric?

What Is Ajrak Fabric?

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Are you a Garments, Accessories, Home furnishings or a Shoe Manufacturer who wants to know more about Ajrakh Prints? If yes, then do watch out this video till end. Hello, this is Tushar from Charu Creation Pvt Ltd, a fashion fabric company at Nehru Place, New Delhi. So friends, Ajrakh is a form of traditional hand block printing and resist dyeing technique which uses indigo, madder and printed mordants like harda, lime, alizarin, alum and camel dung.

By the way, a mordant is a substance that combines with a dye and thereby fixes it in a material. Ajrakh is distinguished by its color- blue with red – and its complex geometric & floral patterns. It takes skill & patience to make Ajrakh. There are around 16 different stages of dyeing & printing, which take 14-21 days to complete. The resulting cloth is soft against the skin and jewel-like in appearance, pleasing to touch & appealing to the eye. It’s name is derived from ‘azarak’, which means ‘blue’ in Arabic & Persian.

Ajrakh is said to signify the Universe. The color red is for earth, black for darkness, white for clouds and blue for Universe itself. Nature plays a very important role in the making of Ajrakh. The craftsmen work in total harmony with their environment, where the sun, river, animals, trees and mud are all part of its making. Ajrakh production is limited to very few places in the world, namely Sindh in Pakistan, Kutch in Gujarat, India, and Barmer in Rajasthan, India. Produced by the Khatri community of dyers and printers, ajrakh is the most

complex of their many textile products. Traditional steps like Saaj, Kasano, Khariyanu, Kat, Gach, Vichharnu & Rang are important interventions in the sixteen step Ajrakh making process. After almost each intervention, the fabric is put to rest for the whole day. It is hard to believe that the artisans use rusted iron to create dye! Scrap iron, jaggery and tamarind is soaked in water for two weeks and then cooked over flame to create the black dye for Ajrakh. The natural dyes used in Ajrakh printing lends a unique characteristic to the fabric.

Water plays an essential role in the process of dying and the quality of water is as important as the quantity. If the water is high in minerals, the colour and concentration of the dyes are positively affected. During summers, the natural dyes expand the pores of the fabric, making it easy for air to pass through. During winters, the pores of the fabric close, providing warmth. No wonder, they say that Ajrakh is suitable to wear around the year. Ajrakh patterning if applied to just one side of the cloth is known as ekpuri.

However, a unique and technically advanced feature of ajrakh is the use of bipuri or double-sided printing. This means the printer works with his dyes, mordants and resists on both sides of the cloth simultaneously. The patterns always line up exactly from one side to the other, further intensifying the depth of colours. Historically, Ajrakh has been printed on both sides. This is because the cattle herders, who used to wear Ajrakh traditionally, would leave their homes even before sun rise and there was no electricity in those times so they

couldn’t differentiate the right side from the wrong side in darkness. Double-side printing ensured that they could wear it either ways. Dates, figs, almonds, grains and a wealth of plant-inspired motifs are combined into the symmetrical geometry of the Ajrakh designs. Peacocks, administrative seals, Indian sweets like Jalebi are a further series of motifs developed within the geometric grid system of the designs.

This Ajrakh craft has been on a decline because modern, quicker methods of printing and bright chemical dyes are replacing the natural, careful and slow process of printing. But with efforts of the master craftsmen and increasing awareness among the urban people, this crafts is slowly gaining momentum. Because of being an environment friendly ancient craft, Ajrakh is slowly gaining visibility among the cosmopolitan. Now a days, it is common to see women suits, kurtis & even Mens’ Shirts made out of Ajrakh Fabrics.

Friends, to view our collection of Ajrakh Fabrics, click on the link given in the description of the video. Friends, I hope that products made out of our fabric collection would make your ventures profitable. For any enquiry regarding fabrics, you may call us at +91-9971106200 or email us at charu@charu.org.in. If you find this information useful, please subscribe to this Youtube channel to get more useful information. Thanks a lot.

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