Knotty Knitters

Knotty Knitters is bringing centuries old Ajrakh delight back into demand

The origins of this technique is said to be as old as the Indus Valley Civilization; The famous priest-king bust from Mohenjo -Daro is shown draped in a piece of cloth which looks similar to an Ajrakh Print Fabric.

Back to the present times, Ajrakh is an occupational and cultural identity of artisans and Khatri communities from the villages of Gujarat and Rajasthan. After the devastating Bhuj earthquake of 2001, some of these communities were forced to move and re-establish their village in a new place which was named Ajrakhpur. Today, the same village has marked its presence all over India for producing high quality, beautifully designed Ajrakh fabrics and have grabbed eyeballs of big names in the fashion industry like Ritu Kumar.

Ajrakh prints are said to be reflective of the aesthetics of nature, with red signifying the Earth, blue for sky, white for clouds etc.  The name itself is derived from the word Azrak which means blue in Arabic (Indigo is an important dye in this technique, hence the inspiration). The dyes are natural products from vegetables, herbs and minerals. The geometrical and floral patterns on the fabric are embossed with the help of carved wooden blocks; for each colour used in the patterns, a separate block is used. The fine detailing in its execution makes it a popular choice when it comes to designing textiles. Check out more about Jaipuri Blocks known for the depth & intricacy of its carvings!

In a laborious effort of several days, the cloth is first stretched on a long table and pinned down to keep its position intact. The dyes are prepared and blocks’ surfaces are dipped in it. Then hovering over the cloth to achieve a level of precision and symmetry, the printers lower them over the cloth and then, with a heavy force, pound them. After the printing part is over, it is left to dry.

Water plays an important role in the overall process; the dried- printed fabric is washed in several stages over running water, dyed in a base colour and then left to dry again under the sun. These last steps are carried out again and again till the fabric is transformed into an intricate piece of colours and motifs. You may want to check out our section of Ajrakh Print products ranging from bags, clutch to dupatta and sarees!

The growing popularity of Ajrakh has brought the traditional caste dress out from the villages of Kutch to runway models of Lakme Fashion Week, in a fusion of designers and artisans. As the world moves towards lifestyle choices that are more environment friendly, Ajrakh provides itself as a sustainable choice of fabric, owing to its crafts measures which are in perfect harmony with nature.

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