TBI BLOGS: From Ajrakh to Leheriya – find out about the fascinating history behind Indian Textiles

Dyeing of Ajrakh fabrics at Ajrakhpur - The Khatri community of Bhuj, are highly skilled in the process of dyeing and printing and have been masters of the craft since centuries

From Bagru to Bandhani and Ajrakh to Suf – the tale of the splendid origins of India’s hand made textiles.

Textiles had been part of India’s legacy for the reason that Indus Valley Civilisation. the first ever traces of Indian hand crafted textiles seemed within the shape of cotton saris draped around Sumerian statuettes,relationship back to 3000 BC.

Indian textiles have held a unique vicinity in India’s background through the millennia – there are splendidmentions within the Mahabharat, depictions within the ancient work of art within the Ajanta caves, andsevera references in Sanskrit literature. via the a long time, as the diverse kingdoms of India modifiedpalms from one ruler to another, modifications passed off inside the manner textiles have been made,materials they had been fabricated from and the methods in which they had been adorned.

India became home to a ramification of unique textiles, paving the manner for the delivery of a flourishingenterprise.

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antique people art embroidered textiles from Gujarat. approximately 75 to ninety years vintage
p.c supply: rugrabbit.com

interestingly, the name of each fabric hub in India displays the story of its craft or the region of its origin. Block printing, as an instance, is a popular fashion in several states lining the western coast of the us of a,in addition to in West Bengal in the east, Punjab in the North and Andhra Pradesh inside the South. but, inevery textile hub, the craft has its personal individual fashion and is going by using a distinctive name.essentially a technique in which motifs are stamped on to fabric with ink to supply colorful styles, block printing has received neighborhood flavours relying on the location.

In Rajasthan, Dabu printing entails applying earth in delicate styles to fabric, after which dipping thefabric in dye. as soon as removed and dried, the earth peels off and the colourful fabric is left with quitewhite styles that had once been masked by means of the earth, preventing the ink from blotting. Thismethod is likewise referred to as resist-printing due to the fact the mud resists the ink. locally, however,it is referred to as Dabu – a name derived from the Hindi word dabaana, meaning ‘to press’. anothertextile craft from the same place is Bagru; it’s far a technique in which block prints are used to stamppatterns on to cloth again and again. Bagru printing, not like its nearby counterpart, takes its call from themetropolis of Bagru, in which it become born.

The districts of Kutch and Mandvi in Gujarat and Shantiniketan in West Bengal, these days, are the heartlands of Batik tradition in India. Batik is a wax-resist handloom style that has permeated Indian familiesfor its fresh and placing attraction. The fabric is first coated in awesome wax designs, and then it’s farswathed in dye. as soon as it is dry and the wax has cracked, the dazzling patterns which are left in the back of make for vibrant garments, wall accents and teapoy covers. The phrase Batik stems from the Indonesian word ambatik, that’s loosely translated to ‘wax writing’, and because the craft originated in Indonesia, the name remains used in other parts of the arena today, including in India.

Like Batik, there is some other fashion of printing whose call represents its resplendent history. Ajrakh is afirst rate handloom fashion that speaks of piercing indigo skies and deep blue darkness, and is practised in Kutch, Gujarat.

Ajrakh way blue in Arabic, and its geometric patterns enhance cloth like starry galaxies in indigo, madder, black and ivory.

a little boy dons a Ajrakh introduction from his fatherland – Ajrakhpur
a little boy dons an Ajrakh advent from his homeland – Ajrakhpur
percent: India Kala

there’s also a principle that the call stems from the Hindi phrase aaj rakh, which meanskeep it fornowadays’. Legend has it that Ajrakh printers are descendants of Lord Ram’s sons, Luv and Kush, who had been invited via the king of Kutch to fill his land with the majesty of their craft. through the years, theyconverted to Islam and settled by using the banks of the Dhamadka river, whose waters they might usewithin the Ajrakh dyeing manner.

The waters of the Dhamadka have dried over time, and the nearby artisans face a daily war you acquiregreat water to useful resource their manufacturing.

Dyeing of Ajrakh fabrics at Ajrakhpur – The Khatri community of Bhuj, are pretty skilled inside thetechnique of dyeing and printing and have been masters of the craft on the grounds that centuries
Dyeing of Ajrakh fabrics at Ajrakhpur – the Khatri network of Bhuj are especially skilled in the method of dyeing and printing and had been masters of the craft because centuries.
%: India Kala

no longer best that, with synthetic substances and an increasingly city market for their goods, thecommunity ties that they once shared with their customers are slowly fading.

no longer a ways from the Ajrakh belt of Kutch is the craft cluster of Bhujodi, domestic to 2 hundredweavers which might be regarded domestically as vankars. in the confines in their modest huts, theypaintings their handloom amidst the smooth, rhythmic hum of clattering timber, reworking brittle threads into shining sheaths of cloth. apparently, these vankars are not in the beginning from the area; in reality, their forefathers migrated from Rajasthan to Gujarat and have been part of the Meghwal clan. yet, so wellhad been they acknowledged by way of the local Kutchi network upon arrival, that there were claims that a single turban woven via a vankar ought to last as long as 50 years.

nowadays, there are 1,200 weavers scattered throughout 210 villages in Kutch, and the weaving techniquethey use has been christened ‘Kutch Weaving’, taking its name from its birthplace.

Kutch Weaving of Bhujodi
Kutch Weaving has been accorded with a Geographical Indication status via the govt. of India
p.c: India Kala

Likewise, Bandhni and Leheriya are famous garment ornamentation techniques in Gujarat and Rajasthan.by means of tying fabric tightly at positive points after which dipping them in dye, lovely, one-of-a-kindstyles are industrially produced.

Bandhani is a version of the Sanskrit word banda, this means that ‘to tie’, whereas Leheriya is called after the wave-like sample that its clothes bear as a result of the tie-dye procedure.

Leheriya method of Tie & Dye
Jaipur’s famous Leheriya approach of ‘tie and dye’ draws its call from the Hindi phrase for wave or leher
percent: India Kala

across the same geographic place because the Bandhani district is some other one, the house of Suf embroidery. Suf is a form of embroidery that employs economic system stitches to provide triangles or sufs.these sufs are clustered to form dainty motifs, which can be used to beautify saris, shawls and differentfabrics.

As lots as these crafts have executed in contributing aesthetically, economically and socially to the country,there is all however one problem: the changing face of call for. once upon a time, these crafts weretargeted at and acquired by way of village dwellers, to decorate their homes and to provide utility.

nowadays, even though, as neighborhood villagers gravitate in the direction of759af83dbac04511979469e6f58100a3 items, artisans are forced to find change markets.

Suleman Khatri
Suleman Khatri, a grasp artisan for Bandhani, owes the finesse of his ability to the particularly reputed institutes for crafts which have made Bhuj their home
p.c: India Kala

the best news is that urban denizens are accepting of Indian handcrafted textiles of their homes, and over the years it has turn out to be some thing of a fashion to very own handmade products over cookie-cutter, factory-made ones. There are firms in India that are working to offer equality to artisans. for example, Kala Raksha and Somaiya Kala Vidyalay, primarily based in Kutch, Gujarat, safeguards theinterests of artisans within the Kutch location, as a way to make sure that the distance among actualcall for and deliver can be bridged. They work with those crafts-men and –women to ensure theyunderstand the today’s developments and designs, and to increase their earning capacity.

As urban call for and artisan-mass-produced merchandise work to attain an equilibrium, the path is paved for a revival inside the Indian handicraft landscape. And with that, India’s wealthy handcraftedbackground might be restored.

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