Ajrakh print is one of the complex yet beautiful and one of the oldest known hand blocks printing art to print the fabrics. Some 4000 years ago it was mainly practiced in today’s Sindh region of Pakistan by Khatri (Chippa) community. Today it is widely practiced in Gujarat region in India and some parts of Rajasthan. Ajrakh is one of the most complex, and arduous art containing 20 or more steps in preparing final product. It is a kind of resist printing traditionally using geometrical designs with natural colors on variety of natural fiber based fabrics.
Two thousand years ago few Arabic merchants visited Sindh for the first time and saw the circle and star shaped geometrical designs with the combination of four basic natural (Indigo, Red, Black and Yellow) colors instantly they call it “ye to Ajrakh hain” (This is a Ajrakh). In Arabic language Ajrakh means the Universe, and since then it is known as Ajrakh to the world.
Traditionally Ajrakh printing was done on both the sides of fabrics using same design so that one can wear it either of the side. But today due to increasing cost of labor, raw materials and time consuming process it is printed on one side only.
EcoFab under its knowledge management initiative developed its own Ajrakh technique with help of Pawan Jhariya of Tarapur, and gave a name “Puru Ajrakh” to this technique a name dedicated to the veteran master craftsman Late Purushottam Jhariya for his contribution in the field of hand block printing.
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