Ajrakh Print is a block-print type of textile which is a dye by using the natural dyes. This includes indigo and madder. Khatris community in Kutch, Gujarat are the source of this Ajrakh print. It colour distinguishes by blue and red & its complex geometric & floral patterns. Ajrakh is usually about 2.5-3meters in length. The Ajrakh is printed on both sides by method called resist printing. This printing is done by hand with hand carved wooden blocks. They use several types of different blocks give the essential quality patterning.
ART OF AJRAKH PRINT
Unlike other processes of printing cloth, they apply the colour directly to the cloth, in Ajrakh print. In this the fabric is first printed with a resist paste and then dyed. Repeating this process many times with different kinds of dyes can eventually achieve the final pattern which shows deep red and blue hues. This process is very time consuming. The entire process may take up to two weeks resulting in the creation of the beautiful and ethnic patterns of the Ajrakh.
A mixture of camel dung, soda ash, castor oil, myrobalen, madder, sappan wood, the root of rhubarb and lac is necessary. Because, This mixture gives various colour effects and hue to the ajrakh print. Also, They dry various kinds of natural ingredients are mix-match them to get the desired colour and shades required.
Ranamal jethanand khatri in the year 1990 gave a trail to make an ajrak print on the two sides of the cloth with two different colours. Hence he got a national Excellency award in 1992.
In this process the use of water is very much necessary as well in all the steps which are nearly 30 in which we use water. The colour and its shades are intensified as well as made subtle or in lower intensity with the use of water. Consequently, The water influences the final success or failure of the colour.
This craft has been declined now a days, because modern methods of printing and chemical dyes are replacing the natural colours. And also as it is slow and careful process of printing the traditional textile. But because of the efforts of the craftsmen and increasing awareness among the people, this craft is slowly gaining popularity.
MARKET IMPORTANCE OF AJRAK PRINT
Ajrakh print is gaining popularity in the present day scenario. Many textile industrialists though it is a long but unique process are showing interest in the ajrakh print. In abroad there is more demand of this kind of prints. As the hues are different and patterns of animals such as elephants and flowers can use in the print looks exceptionally beautiful. This has caught the attention of native industrialists as well as the foreign countries.
In Ajrakh print block printing is also done. The wood is shaved, carved and the printing is done by the wooden blocks. The rising popularity of this hand-printing fabric and garments in the domestic market had led to its growth from Rajasthan over the past three to four years with more than a third of its total cloth being supplied by the State.
Ajrakh Print is the most beautiful prints developed by the craftsman. The on-going print of ajrakh not only gives work to the craftsman but also gives the world a different kind of aesthetic print.
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