Ajrak Printing in Rajasthan


Ajrak printing is very popular in Rajasthan and other northwestern Indian states. Most ajrak printing and dyeing hubs are located in several parts of Gujarat and Rajasthan. Ajrak word has derived from a Sanskrit term i.e. jharat. This type of printing process is popular because of its uniqueness and stunning style.

The printing style is restricted to specific areas in Gujarat and Rajasthan such as Akola and Banner in Rajasthan. Ajrak method is used to develop many handy garments such as sarong and head covering for men. The technique is also used for carrying floor sheet, carrying cloth or to simply wrap the garment. Sindhi and Meghval Muslim women adorn ajrak printed odhni and ghaghra. The printing process is also very exciting. Trained and skilled craftsmen are employed in this task. The raw fabric in pulled extensively in a full length through river a number times, beaten, scoured, mordant, steamed, printed with resist mud-pasted from stores of river.

Ajrak fabrics are worthy in the arena of textiles. Prior the real printing process starts the fabric is cleaned, washed and properly treated with harda solution. Washing and re-sizing is essential as it advances the capacity of cloth to soak up the color. While performing the process it is important to keep in mind that every step of printing process is taken care very carefully.

In Ajrak printing the first and foremost step is Kariyanu. A lime made resist paste is imprinted on fabric. This separates while outlining of the cloth’s design. Borders are beautifully printed from left hand side to right and prior to fabric’s main body. This type of printing method can be one or two sided. At the same time the reverse side is printed. This ajrak printing process is taken place while the materials are damp. Syahi paste that becomes black when comes in contact with alizarin, used in the 2nd stage of the printing. Every area is resisted for indigo arc beautifully printed with gach. Every part is resisted for indigo arc with alum mixed with mordant and gach.

Ajrak print is applied inside a grid with a repetitive form making a web looking design. Instead of jaal, the border designs are used in the fabric. Such borders are evenly aligned in both horizontal and vertical ways. Its lateral corners are printed with a wider and double margin arrangements making different layouts of corners.