Ajrakh, as a textile craft originated in the 16th century and pioneered by the community named ‘Khatri’ which meant one who can fill or change colours. In fact, the textile dominant hues of rich crimson and deep indigo colours were a contribution of this textile craft of ‘Azrak’, which means blue in Arabic and Persian. The USP of the craft is that it is colossal in terms of design when worn and will last for lifetime symbolizing Sindhi nationalism. It is a remarkable example of the longevity and durability of craft in India.
Ajrakh in the Sindhi tradition is used as hammock and bed-sheets to Indian shawls, head cover or head gears for girls. Ajrakh requires not only the art and the skilled hands but a huge amount of patience and time which makes feel as laborious and time consuming in the present day where technology automated printing has taken over handcrafts. However, the versatility of ajrakh as a textile craft has kept it alive even today. Ajrakh can be printed on a variety of fabrics, including: cotton, linen or wool. It can also be finely printed on different types of silk, such as crepe, tussar, georgette and chiffon. Since it is completely a produce involving manual labor and no machinery, it also has a potential of providing steady employment for the local craftspeople.
Craft Canopy has planned to create a conducive online-platform for these crafts people increase their scope of work by introducing them to different market groups. Craft Canopy is closely worked with craftspeople in redesign strategy, incubating techno-driven prints merging with manual crafts and promoting the Ajrakh printing.