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Ajrakh : Hand Block Printing Craft of Gujarat

Hand-Block Printing, Textiles, Weaving, Spinning, Khadi

Ajrakh : Hand Block Printing Craft of Gujarat

Famous worldwide, the Ajrakh textiles of Kutch in Gujarat standout for their richly printed surfaces and elaborate crafting process. The printing is done on both sides, employing multiple dyeing techniques besides mordanting. Natural, vegetable and mineral colours such as indigo and madder are used to dye and print the fabrics. Items such as turbans, shawls, lungis, odhani, curtains, floor spreads and bed covers etc are created using these skilled techniques. Tools such as wooden printing blocks, colours, furnace, bamboo lattice, earthen dying vats, copper vessels for dyes, wooden battens and brushes etc are used for the dyeing and printing process.

The Ajrakh resist-dyeing technique is found in Anjar and Dhamadka in Kutch. The most common colours used in this Ajrak craft are – blue, red, black and white, in several patterns resembling different symbols of nature. For example, black is for the night sky, white for the stars, blue for dawn and so on.  The printed red and black odhnis of Anjar carry motifs similar to those found on old pottery and stone carvings.

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