A J R A K H

One of the most specialised and finest kind of block printing, ajrakh is a popular traditional art form of Kutch and parts of Sindh in Pakistan with its main centres in Dhamadka, Khavda and Bhuj in Gujarat. A lengthy and detailed, highly skilled process is part of the creation of a fine ajrakh print involving resist printing and natural dyes. The entire process of printing ajrakh involves thirteen stages that results in a wonderful depth of colour not achievable with other handblock printing techniques. Discover this intricate play of design in Ajrakh print bedcovers and other home linen available at Fabindia.

A P P L I Q U É

The term appliqué is derived from the French word “appliquer” which means to “put on or lay on” or to “apply”. The earliest known example of appliqué dates back to 980 B.C. Egypt.

In appliqué, pieces of fabric forming the design are cut out and prepared to eliminate the raw edges. These are then placed on the larger backing fabric and sewn in place using a variety of stitches. Several cultures use appliqué to decorate clothes, quilts, curtains, wall hangings, cushions, bags and accessories. White on white applique curtains lends a serene look to a home and is a popular pick among handcrafts.

I K A T

Tie-dye is essentially indicative of a technique of patterning cloth by resisting a part of the surface prior to dyeing. This is done by marking the fabric with patterns and blocking the penetration of the dye by tying the resisted area tightly with thread. The tied fabric is then dipped into vats of dye, to create resist-dyed patterns, which vary in complexity of technique and design. Bandhani, with its characteristic patterns of dots, leheriya and mothra, is a classic example of tie dyed fabrics. However, ikat weaving requires predetermined sections of yarn to be tied prior to being dyed. Either the warp or weft threads or both are tied to produce different kinds of ikat.

I N D I G O

Indigo (Neel) is a natural dye obtained from the plant Indigofera Tinctoria. The indigo dye bath is made in large vats and then carefully maintained for several months until it is exhausted. The cloth is repeatedly immersed in the vat and exposed to air to produce varying intensities of blue. White patterns are retained by the application of a paste made from clay mixed with wheat chaff and tree gum before dipping the fabric into an indigo bath. This resist paste prevents the dye from penetrating the covered areas. Indigo is still used by block printers and dyers in the villages of India. Craftsmen today employ the same dyeing technique used since ancient times for natural indigo dyeing. Indigo provides a stunning hue of blue to Fabindia home linen range.