Ajrak is a cloth of block printed with cavernous blushing red and sky blue background, posturing proportional patterns with dispersed unprinted effervescent transparent white motifs, nearly stars. Made of cotton, its flexibility resembles to Silk cloth. More than just a simple cloth, Ajrak is a living craft of Sindh, verifiable from the primitive archeological research of the ancient civilization Mohenjodaro. It has been symmetrically famous from period immemorial until today in between its rural, migrant and urban consumers.
Ajrak is traditionally used in Sindh from birth to death. It is used as a harbor for newborn, covering head for girls, bridal ornaments, a shawl, a turban, a present, bed sheet and symbol of respect to welcome the guests, it is also used as a climate protection by being cool in summer and hot in winter and lastly, it is immensely used as a farewell wrap. Most of the politicians of Sindh had worn Ajrak in public meetings to show their respect, love and solidarity for their province.
To get an instinct of how Ajrak is made, visit Bhit Shah, Hala and Mityari of Sindh. At Bhit Shah, the shrine of great spiritual poet “Shah Abdul Latif Bhattayi” whose popular poetic triumph “Shah jo Risalo” captures a place next to none in ancient and contemporary Sindhi culture. A tour to Bhit Shah reveals an open book of “Sindhology” the masterpiece of Indus Civilization. Mityari is popular for Ajrak workmanship, although the Hala town is the market of all the artistry of handmade crafts involving Ajrak, varnish of woodwork and Sindhi embroidery, classic lacquered tiles in white and blue “Kashi” craft work, clay ceramic and some classy woven clothes like “Soosi”.The significance to reveal the striking beauty of scenic view with the highway during the travel from Karachi to these areas is tempting. The foggy semi-dark, the broad extension of yellow and green fields, appealing mangoes and bananas plantations and broad stretches of beautiful green fields of wheat dispersed with working girls outfitted in glowing yellow, maroon, orange and green colors along with occasional colorful flower places in complete blossom, and printing combination clear white travelling birds in their graceful flight above the ancient Sindh River are merely a little glances of the journey.
The legend of Pakistan’s Folk singer “Allan Fiqar” with his astonishing personality has been an influencing accomplishing artist with his modern Ajrak clothes involving his peacocks dancing such as turban manufactured from Ajrak. Color is the continual section of “music in the color liniment” of Sindhi culture.
The Muslim rulers were used to gift “Khilat” in the admiration of the services of their attendants. Muslim Sindhi rulers also prevailed this culture and gifted Ajrak in the admiration of extraordinary performance or the worthy services delivered by people, as it is usually presented even though today on the arrival of honored guests.
In view of the different procedures involved, specifically printing which is the core heart of art, Ajrak is now becoming as scientific craft. The skill of resist printing permits latest absorption of color dyes in the required places only and stops absorption on the portions desired to be left colorless. It feels to be like distinctive blemishing indulged in microscopy in which many different micro-organisms are colored and secured selectively.