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Modal is lightweight and silky smooth. It absorbs water, and it is shrink resistant and holds dyes well so your scarf is unlikely to fade. It is soft and warm and a quality modal will not pill easily. Ajrak is a unique form of blockprinted shawls and tiles. These shawls display special designs and patterns made using block printing by stamps. Over the years, ajraks have become a symbol of the Sindhi culture and traditions.
Modal silk saree with ajrakh work. It is in coffee colour with fine texture.
Ajrakh is an ancient block-printing method on textiles that originated in the presentday provinces of Sindh in Pakistan and the neighbouring Indian districts of Kutch in Gujarat and Barmer in Rajasthan. The word 'ajrakh' itself connotes a number of different concepts. According to some, it comes from the Arabic word ajrakh, which means blue, one of the chief colours in ajrakh printing. Other historians say the word has been coined from the two Hindi words- aaj rakh, meaning, keep it today.Ajrakh printing thrived in India in the 16th century with the migration of Khatris from the Sindh province to Kutch district. The king of Kutch acknowledged and recognized the textile art, and indirectly encouraged the migration of Khatris to uninhabited lands in Kutch. Ultimately, some Khatri printer families migrated to Rajasthan and settled in and around Barmer province of British India, including present-day Gujarat, and excelled at the art of ajrakh printing. At present, the Khatri community is engrossed in consistently producing jrakh printed fabric of supreme quality in Ajrakhpur village in Kutch and also Barmer.
The traditional colours found in ajrakh printing are deep, which symbolise nature. Crimson red symbolizes the earth, and indigo blue symbolises twilight. Black and white are used with a view to outline motifs and define symmetrical designs. Although the use of eco-friendly synthetic dyes is prevalent, the use of traditional natural dyes is being resumed gradually. Indigo is obtained from the indigo plant. Craftsmen used indigo plants growing profusely along the Indus river. Red is acquired from alizarin found in the roots of madder plants. Black is obtained from iron shavings, millet flour and molasses with the addition of ground tamarind seeds to thicken the dye. The contemporary ajrakh prints have intensely vibrant contrasting colours like rust, yellow and orange.
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