AJRAK - NATURAL DYE HAND BLOCK PRINTING
Ajrak is an ancient block printing art that produces uniquely wonderful fabrics. The traditional elements include natural dyes derived from vegetables and minerals, intricately carved wood blocks, and special designs and patterns. The process is very time-consuming and demands a great deal of skill, experience and coordination.
The design is printed using hand-carved wooden blocks and may be printed several times depending on the design. The first impression may create an outline, and subsequent printings add more pattern and colors.
One piece might use over 30 blocks, with separate blocks for different colors and designs. The fabric is washed after each printing and the water is recycled several times. Each stage alters the color and the change has to be anticipated for the final design to be accurate. Every step in the process demands focus and the results are a testament to the skill and expertise of the artisan.
Sufiyan Ismail Khatri makes all the Ajrak fabric we use.