Ajrak is an all purpose wraper used by both men and women in the south eastern Pakistan. Specially in the province of Sindh. Ajrak is termed as the identity of Sindh. It is a cotton based wraper with block printing. Modern Ajraks are being made on machines however there are still many places in Pakistan where Ajrak is being made by hand with traditional rituals and with vegetable and mineral based colors.
One such place is the Ajrak centers of Bhit Shah. Here the artists can be seen busy working with different processes of Ajrak. Following are some Images and descriptions of different processes of Ajrak making.
1. The Ajrak cloth is usually a pure cotton often non mercerized. It is soaked in water and tree gum and dried which gives it a bit stiffness and off white color
2. Next step is to print the very first motive design on the Ajrak which is done manually by the artists as seen in the pictures below
3. The next step is to further stamp the design with a different color
Meaning of the word Ajrak
There is a legend that once upon a time a King had a habit of taking a new chador every day to put on in his palace. His ministers and rich lord would offer him a sheet of cloth, wool etc every day. Once an artisan offered the king a simple vegetable died sheet which king liked very much and next day when ministers asked about the chador he said "Ajj Rakh" meaning in Sindhi leave it today he was content. So this is how the word AjRak came into practice for this kind of sheet.
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