A Square of Real Ajrakh Cotton: Brown Toned Block Print from Sindh
34" x 32 3/4", 86.5 cm x 83 cm
This is a beautiful piece of double sided, true ajrakh, a patterned cloth whose beauty is the result of a complex dyeing process. True ajrakh is only produced in a few, isolated locations in Western India and Eastern Pakistan, associated with the geographical zone centered on the Rann of Kachchh (Gujarat), Barmer in Rajasthan, Lower Sindh and the western edge of the Thar desert.
The cloth shown here is made by skilled artisans in Sindh, Pakistan--and with any craft so arduous to produce, the last remaining ajrakh dyers of Sindh are slowly ceasing production.
True ajrakh is traditionally worn by men either as a lunghi, (sarong), turban or as a cloth casually worn over the shoulder.
The process for making this printed and mordanted cotton cloth is extremely complex and sequential and it calls for expert hand work from those who know how to prepare the undyed cotton for printing and dyeing to those who know how to finish the cloth in its final stages.
This piece of ajrakh, whose color is unusually simple and handsome, being just brownish dye on undyed cotton, is based on a tightly packed pattern of what appear to be four leaves that are arranged in a roundel motif.
The cotton is machine loomed and the top and bottom edges are finished by a sewing machine.
Simply beautiful, and a wonderful piece of cotton cloth which represents a continuing tradition that extends back many hundreds of years.