The Artistry of Ajrakh: How Block Printing Techniques Bring Designs to Life

The Artistry of Ajrakh: How Block Printing Techniques Bring Designs to Life

The Artistry of Ajrakh: How Block Printing Techniques Bring Designs to Life

Let’s begin by briefly visiting the history of Ajrakh Art. This fascinating art form has its rich tradition in glorious undivided India, corresponding to the contemporary regions of Kutch in Gujarat, as well as part of Rajasthan, and also included the area of Sindh in present day Pakistan. The history of Ajrakh dates back to the Indus Valley civilization, with some attributing it to the period of around 3000 BC, since Ajrakh motifs are found on the Mohenjo-Daro carvings. Yet others trace its origins to around 2500 BC-1500 BC. Be that as it may, Ajrakh art is indeed an ancient one, bringing vibrancy to fabrics and other material, through a variety of block printing designs.

The origin of the name itself has two schools of thought. One credits its origins to the Arabic word ‘Azak’, meaning blue, since indigo was a major component of the dye that was used. Others attribute its origin to Hindi root words ‘Aaj’ and ‘Rakh’, which translates into 'Keep it Today.' Perhaps an apt message for us in the 21st century, to keep alive the Ajrakh Art form, by patronizing the magnificent creations of these highly skilled artisans, so that it continues for posterity.

Ajrakh Printing is a natural art form that draws its inspiration from nature, and uses elements from nature to make the base material come alive. Central to this unique tradition, is the art of block printing. Skilled artisans meticulously carve intricate motifs of flowers, leaves, other inspirations from nature; or even folklore, cultural symbols, or geometric patterns, onto wooden blocks. These blocks are then dipped in dyes which have their source in plants, vegetables, minerals and other organic resources, each contributing their own unique hue and colour. Block printing is then done through resist dyeing and involves a complex, time-consuming process through which the practiced artisans turn out the most beautiful and stunning patterns on fabrics and other material.

While creating the blocks itself is an admirable skill, aligning and stamping the designs on to the material is equally challenging as it requires concentration, precision and the right amount of pressure, each time the block is dipped in the dye and stamped on the material. Even the dyeing techniques like resist dyeing, involve considerable knowledge and aptitude, as slightly altering colours and tones, result in different levels of intensity and intricacy of the final prints. There are challenges related to the cost of making a single block which may not even last too long, and also challenges related to the plentiful water required. Unfortunately, the current generation is not too keen to get into their ancestral profession, as it is time consuming and requires a lot of patience, while earnings are disproportionately low.

In the circumstances, while every effort is necessary to perpetuate the art, blending the traditional with modernity, is another way to keep the ancient art form alive, in the minds of the contemporary generation. Hence Ajrakh inspirations have been merged with modern techniques and perpetuated through mechanized and digital printing too. At The Bombay Store, our focus is therefore the promote the actual art itself; as well as keep it alive through mechanized means – lest it be lost forever over time.

We take this opportunity to introduce you to Ajrakh prints, and help you choose fascinating items that will brighten your home; and keep alive this painstaking art that has been carefully passed down thousands of generations. Ajrakh Prints have livened up fabrics, leather and other material that go into the making of many useful items. You are just a click away from a fascinating display of Ajrakh Printed items. Click the link to enter the online exhibition of Ajrakh cushion covers, bags, wallets, umbrellas, placement mats, trays, coffee mugs, napkin holders, and the like.

If you are a bag or wallet person, we have trendy bags in leather or canvas, with exquisite Ajrakh prints so perfectly symmetrical in design. Pick from our attractive array of Bags and Wallets that come in hues of maroon, blue and brown, with motifs so well matched in colour combination and design. Be an ambassador for the ancient Ajrakh Art form, proudly letting your Ajrakh Laptop Bags, Tote Bags, Sling Bags, and Backpack Bags, introduce the magical prints of Ajrakh artisans to your world. You are sure to love the Ajrakh Print Wallets too, which come with mobile cases to give you that extra bit of convenience.

Spruce up your living room, bedroom and sit-out spaces with our attractive Ajrakh Printed Cushion Covers in maroon or brown, beautifully combined with intricate Ajrakh designs in perfectly harmonized colours. If you enjoy an assortment of colours and designs, we have Ajrakh Patch Cushion Covers too. Enjoy the smooth richness of our Ajrakh Satin Cushion Covers as you relax with family and friends, simultaneously showcasing the exquisite work of Ajrakh artisans.

Liven up your Drinkware and Tableware with fascinating Ajrakh Prints that will add colour and vivacity to your dining room, living room, and kitchen too. As you entertain family and friends, let your Ajrakh Coffee Mugs, Serving Trays, Breakfast Trays, Coasters, Tissue Box Holders, and Placement Mats become conversation starters, that spread awareness of this wonderous ancient art – that must be kept alive.

For a rainy day or even a sunny day, we have exquisite digitally printed Ajrakh Umbrellas in maroon, blue, and brown. You can choose from our stately Straight Ajrakh Umbrellas; or for those who like it compact, we have 3-fold Ajrakh Umbrellas too. Let your Ajrakh Umbrella brighten up a rainy day, or gleam in the sunshine, to protect you even as you add to your style quotient. Gracefully carry your Ajrakh Umbrella and proudly display its stunning design, as you keep alive the memory of the magnificent Ajrakh Art form.

Preservation of century old skills, is the heart of The Bombay Store! We focus on preserving ancient art forms, by showcasing the exquisite creations of artisans across the length and breadth of our country, presenting it to the urban population, thus connecting the creators and the customers.

Visit our website, and be amazed by the variety of skills that have been honed across our country down the centuries! We proudly introduce their unique art and craft forms, that spruce up your homes with beautiful wall décor items, artefacts, home décor items, handicraft gift items, wooden decorative items, wooden handicraft items, exquisite glass works of art, sculpted masterpieces in marble, stone, brass, copper, silver, and other metals. Their skills are distinctive and must be preserved. So, join hands with The Bombay Store in saving these ancient arts, even as you take home with you, exquisite creations that bring life and vibrancy to your homes.

The Online Bombay Store – Promoting and Supporting Antique Indian Craftsmanship.