BARMER BAZAAR Ajrakh Print Salwar suit unstitched dress material 20 flower dupatta

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Ajrakh initially originated from Sind, Pakistan, as a legacy of Indus valley civilization around 3000 BC. It later on extended to the provinces of Kutch, Gujarat and Rajasthan too. As it is believed and historians have also stated, ajrakh is an Arabic word, which means blue, which is one of the most prominent colors in its creation. Ajrakh printing blossomed in India in the 16th century with the migration of Khatris from the Sind to Kutch district. It is said that the king of Kutch acknowledged and recognized the textile art, and encouraged the migration of Khatris to uninhabited lands in Kutch. Some Khatri printer families migrated to Rajasthan too and settled in and around Barmer province, including present-day Gujarat, and excelled at the art of ajrakh printing. Ajrakh printing has glimpses of nature in its prints and motifs. The colours in this form of print deeply resonate with the natural colours of nature. While Red symbolizes the earth, indigo blue symbolizes twilight, and Black and white are used with a view to outline motifs and define symmetrical designs. Also, the use of Eco-friendly natural dyes is gradually coming back into view too. Craftsmen used indigo plants growing along the Indus river whereas red is acquired from alizarin found in roots of madder plants. Black is obtained from iron shavings or millet flour and molasses along with the addition of ground tamarind seeds to thicken the dye. The contemporary ajrakh motifs have vibrant contrasting colours like rust, yellow and orange. Even in the motifs, the references of nature are evident as their jewel-like shapes symbolize natural elements like flowers, leaves and stars. The most common motif found in ajrakh printing is the trefoil which is made of three sun discs entangled together to represent the cohesive unit of the gods of earth, water and sun.

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