Ajrakh is a printing technique found in Sindh (Pakistan) and Kachchh (Gujarat, India). The complex motifs are motifs are inspired from nature and Islamic architecture, and the dyes and mordants used are of natural origin. Ajrakh prints are usually restricted to black, indigo, red, green and yellow. The white you sometimes see is a result of printing the fabric with a “resist” and then dyeing it in a certain colour. The areas printed with a resist (flour mixed with gum, for example) remain white after the fabric is dyed.
Some of the natural resources used in Ajrakh printing are alizarine, indigo, pomegranate seeds, gum, wood, and flour. The printing process includes many washes in mordants, dyes and water, and as a result the final printed fabric has beautiful softness to it.
Chemical dyes are a major source of pollution in the textile industry today. Ajrakh uses natural dyes and the process allows the craftsmen to live in harmony with nature, respecting their natural resources while they benefit from them.