Updated: Sep 21
Ajrakh sarees hold a special place in the hearts of women who appreciate the rich cultural heritage and traditional art forms. The making of these sarees requires immense patience and skill, with multiple steps of dyeing and printing involved. In this blog, we delve into the intricate process of creating an Ajrakh saree and explore how these traditional garments are infused with a touch of fusion to cater to the modern woman.
Fusion of Tradition and Modernity:
While Ajrakh sarees have a strong foundation in traditional designs and patterns, they have also evolved to cater to the modern woman. At Ethnics Land, you can find Ajrakh sarees that embrace a touch of fusion, combining traditional aesthetics with contemporary elements.
One of the popular variations is the Ajrakh Modal Silk saree. It offers a modern twist by blending the regal charm of Ajrakh with the elegance of modal silk fabric. These sarees are incredibly versatile and can be worn to various occasions, making them perfect for modern women, including professionals.
Ajrakh sarees with a touch of fusion are especially ideal for women working in formal settings. Teachers, principals, news anchors, and emcees can confidently don these sarees as they exude a sense of poise and sophistication. The fusion of traditional designs with contemporary fabric materials allows for comfort and ease of movement in a professional environment.
The Making of an Ajrakh Saree:
The process of Ajrakh block printing constitutes 12-14 steps, including making the block, preparation of the cloth, preparation of dyes, imprinting the design, and drying. Our team employed an ethnographic, life cycle approach to carefully study each step and process of the craft’s production function and the role of the community involved.
To start the printing process, the first step is to create the block. In the past, skilled craftsmen would make the blocks in workshops. However, due to the growing demand for Ajrakh prints, the Khatri community now outsources this process. They now source pre-made blocks from Pethapur and Gandhinagar to fulfill their printing requirements.
To prepare the cloth for imprinting, it is first sourced from textile mills located throughout the country. Next, it is treated with alum paste, washed, and dried to remove any starch content. The fabric is nicely washed and soaked to remove any impurities and strengthen the fibers.
To color the cloth, the first step is to prepare the natural dyes. The Khatri community has been using natural dyes since the beginning of this craft, made from a variety of natural substances such as harde (myrobalan), kaat (iron rust), chana no lot (chickpea flour), chuno (limestone), indigo, and pomegranate. The cloth is then boiled in water with different natural extracts, depending on the desired shade and texture. (Next, the fabric is treated with a mordant, which helps the dye to adhere to the cloth. Once the mordant is applied, the fabric is dried in the sun to allow the mordant to set)
Our skilled artisans start printing the fabric once it's prepared. To carefully apply natural dyes onto the cloth, they use intricately carved wooden blocks. The cloth is repeatedly imprinted with the blocks until it's entirely covered, creating intricate patterns that are characteristic of Ajrakh sarees. This printing technique requires years of experience and delicate precision, and at least three craftsmen work on one cloth simultaneously during this process. Once the printing is complete, the cloth is dried in the sun, ironed, and stacked into piles.
Creating an Ajrakh saree is a labor-intensive process that involves meticulous attention to detail. From preparing the fabric to dyeing it with natural colors, each step requires expertise and precision. The entire process can take anywhere from 14 to 21 days, depending on the intricacy of the design and the number of colors used.
Ajrakh sarees are not just ordinary garments; they are a true work of art that showcases the beauty of our cultural heritage. The making of these sarees requires immense skill, patience, and attention to detail. With the infusion of modern elements, Ajrakh sarees have become a popular choice for modern women who seek to embrace their cultural roots while staying in touch with contemporary fashion.
So, whether you are looking for a majestic and royal saree for a special occasion or a comfortable yet elegant saree for work, Ajrakh sarees with a touch of fusion are the perfect choice. Embrace the rich tradition and timeless beauty of Ajrakh sarees, and let your style make a statement that is both traditional and contemporary.