In the era of sustainable fashion, age-old traditional printing techniques have been revived by designers for their exclusive ethnic and fusion collections. Dating back to the days of the Indus-valley civilization, Ajrakh is an intricate block printing technique which is done mainly on cotton or cotton-blended fabrics. Today, this art is mainly found in the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan in India as well as Sindh in Pakistan.
Ajrakh printing is a tedious process that involves many stages of colouring, resist printing and washing the fabric repeatedly with natural dyes and mordants. The process involves using wooden blocks which are used to create repeated web-like patterns which include a lot of geometrical, floral and dome-like shapes. Traditonally, red and blue were the main colours used to make clothes and shawls, however these days ajrakh print is done in almost every hue.
Sarees having Ajrakh prints:
A lot of Indian designers like Ayush Kejriwal have been using such traditional printing techniques to make their unique collections of cotton sarees. A drape having ajrakh motifs or border makes a smart pick for your office-wear or everyday-wear wardrobe. While completely decorated drapes in bright hues would look elegant for a casual to semi-formal occasion. You can check out exclusive designer ajrakh saris on saree.com.
A global appeal:
People around the world have been intrigued by this mesmerizing art. Through international trade fairs and the ‘Make in India’ campaign, the government of India has been promoting such hand-made sarees and other ethnic and fusion garments to boost the growth of the handloom industry. Technological innovations in the field have led to better and more durable prints with smoother finish and precision, thus expanding their scope for exports. With continuous efforts by the artisans, designers and government, we can expect this art to be globally trending soon.
Care and maintenance:
Such sarees can be hand-washed at home or gently washed in the machine using a mild soap. Keep the saris for drying in the shade and for better durability, opt for only steam ironing.