Notes on Culture & Antique Art, Ethnic Decor & Vintage Fashion | Wovensouls Art Gallery
This is a photoessay on the art of block printing called ‘Ajrakh’.
The process described here, is the same for any block print art. The speciality of Ajrakh is that they use specific patterns with several colors. Dyeing with several colors one after the other, requires precision.
All dyes are natural – vegetable as well as other natural origin such as iron.
The Mastercraftsman – a man I respect tremendously for his art and his philosophy
The Starting Point – plain cotton bales
The inventory of blocks – each with a unique pattern
When the student is ready, the teacher appears…..
Creating a pattern, one block stamp at a time…
Demonstrating that the background dye does not affect the blocked art print
The pieces above were meant to be single color prints so the process ended there.If additional colors are used, part of this process is repeated, to produce this
An article of clothing called the ‘ajrakh’ is specially used locally mainly by the men. It is unique in the fact that the block printing is done on both sides of the cloth, again with precision that requires the design to be matched on both sides of the cloth.
This means that if you place your finger on a red petal on one side of the cloth, and poke a hole through the cloth, your finger will emerge out of a red petal printed on the other side !
a terrible image of a wonderful textile
Contrast the double sided print with the single sided print below
These textiles are worked upon in two parts and stitched together along the length in the center.
Ajrakh work continues on both sides of the India – Pakistan border, with minor evolutionary variations.
A few ajrakh works are also available in the wovensouls collection.
p.s. My guide was a young dealer from Bhuj, who sold me some antique pieces at an exhibition in Bombay. We connected, and out of sheer hospitality, he invited me to visit Kutch someday. ‘Someday’ a few months later, I arranged to go to Kutch and he showed me around all of Kutch urban and rural, that on my own I may never have discovered. If you wish to connect with him do write to me.
Read a similar article on Hmong Batik Art here
excellent coverage of musabhai, well tried for the interested student.
I would like to meet your guide in Bhuj next November if you are happy to give me his contact details
Will send you his cell phone number soon.
is it possible for you to forward me his number ? it would be of great help
i do not have their numbers now – i was there in 2007 …too long ago. sorry.
do you have the address of this man?? we are working on ajrakh and need some artisans. It will be a great help if you could send me the names of some more artists.
Send me an email at email@example.com with your details. I will forward the information to you if I can locate it.
AMAZING! Thank you so much for these beautiful pictures and insight.
Plz can u send me musa bhais mobile no n email id. I promised to send him some fotographs I had taken with him plus want to order some more prints.
Plz can u send me musa bhais mobile no n email id. I promised to send him some fotographs I had taken with him plus want to order some more prints. I lost his card. What a fine gentle person. My frds r visiting bhuj they want to visit his place