Origin of Ajrakh printing dates back to the days of the Indus Valley civilization. After around 5000 years the tradition is still alive in India and the artisans still use the same methods to produce Ajrakh that they used in the days of the Indus Valley civilization. Today the Ajrakh is produced in the region of Kutch in Gujarat and Barmer in Rajasthan.
Ajrakh is a block-printed textile that is resist-dyed using natural dyes extracted from plants like indigo and madder. So it is distinguished by the colors; blue and red though other vegetable dye colours like yellow and green have also made their mark these days. and of course the complex geometric and floral patterns.
Ajrakh printing is a long drawn process with multiple stages of printing and washing the fabric many times over with natural dyes and dye fixatives. The printing is a completely manual process carried out with the help of hand carved wooden blocks of different designs. Usually an Ajrakh article is printed with seven sets of blocks, each set having three to five blocks. A separate block is required for every pattern and colour. Making these perfect blocks with alluring patterns/motifs is yet another art that precedes the art of printing. Making these wooden blocks itself calls for unsurpassed skill.
Once the printing is done, the fabric is sent for dyeing. The process is repeated many times with different kinds of dyes to achieve the desired pattern.
Vermilion’s collection of Ajrakh bed linen is an ode to the age old tradition and our commitment to sustainable lifestyle. Here are a few of our handcrafted Ajrakh bed covers from our collection.
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Kutch has been an ideal shopping destination for textiles with hand block printing. In this technique, fabric is decorated by printing designs on it. Hand block printing in India was the chief occupation of the chippas – a community of printers. They use metal or wooden blocks to print designs on the fabrics by hand.