Ajrakh is a block-printing art form which has survived centuries and still follows the same production techniques. The making of ajrakh product involves a very lengthy and tedious process. In India, it is mainly practised in Kutch, Gujarat and in Barmer, Rajasthan.
The raw fabric used in the making, passes through many stages of removing impurities and is perfected to better absorb the color. It is then naturally colored using vegetable dyes, in dark earthy shades of red, black, blue and yellow. Now the design is neatly stamped on to the fabric in layers, using carved wooden blocks. Ajrakh blocks are made in various sizes and patterns, which are intricately carved by the skilled craftsmen. This process of block-printing one layer over the other and in between washing and then drying the fabric naturally, is repeated over several days until the fabric takes the new beautiful and alluring form.
In recent times, it has increasingly become popular among the handmade art lovers and its more embellished forms with kantha embroidery and mirror work have made its route into the urban markets. From dupattas, stoles and sarees to cushion covers and bed sheets, ajrakh is all over!