Thursday, April 7, 2011

Day 2 of Kachchh, Gujarat

We're off to see BLOCK PRINTING!!
 We visit the famous Ajrak block printers in the towns of Dhamadkao and Ajrakpur. I finally get to see the ever famous Dr. Ismail Khatri. I took some pictures paparazzi style. 
 So, the Ajrak block printing is a 18 color process, taking 2 weeks to a month to finish one design. Their designs are highly recognizable because of the geometric patterns that are famous in their community. We met Aurangzeb and Sufiyan Bhai, the next and 8th generation of block printers in their family.

Many of the steps and materials used differed from the process administered in Pipar City. The designs also were more fine and complex as compared to the ones in Pipar. That is due to the printing technique. Pipar does a lot of dabu, or mud resist, printing which requires the design to be more bold. The designs in Ajrak printing are not done using mud. They instead use a mixture of gum arabic and lime to create the resist, which I guess allows finely carved blocks to be used. 

Next we stopped at a village called Dhaanati Village. It is a community where the women engage in embroidery work for an organization called Shrujan. About 50-70 women in this village work with Shrujan, out of the 112 villages that they work with. We went into the house of Laxmi ben who showed us her embroideries, some of them done 30 years ago for her dowry. Also, in the back of her house, there were a few women who were doing embroidery together, these are women that Laxmi ben has employed herself.


  1. This is really beautiful. Are you bringing this technique back home? Can't wait to see the results!

  2. Hey Helen, Yea the textiles were truly beautiful. I do hope to dabble into this technique and will be more than happy to share when I get in the work.