CRAFT TECHNIQUE: Ajrakh Blockprint + Khadi
AJRAKH was brought to Kutch In the 16th Century, from Sindh (today, in Pakistan), to Dhamadka, a village close to the Saran River of saline water - good for dyeing of Ajrakh cloth. In the 1940's, the bright chemical colours and synthetic fabrics swamped the markets, putting Ajrakh printing into a "pause-mode". Then in the 60's, this craft re-woke up thanks to local craftsmen and patron's efforts. The Khatri families that reside particularly in Ajrakhpur, Gujarat, have been known to excel at Ajrakh printing and, today, continue the traditional techniques of their ancestors.
KHADI is any cloth that is hand spun and hand woven. A 5,000-year-old craft that Mahatma Ghandi rekindled in India almost 100 years ago. Khadi became not only a symbol of revolution and resistance, but also the face of an Indian identity! It marked the start of a democracy in the true sense.
DR. ISMAEL MOHAMED KHATRI is world famous as a master of the traditional Ajrakh block printing process, as he continues the craft that can be traced back nine generations in his family. His sons Sufiyan and Juned continue the legacy. Dr. Khatri's work has been acclaimed internationally. He has won the UNESCO Award of Excellence for handicrafts.
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