Ajrakh Block printing undergoes various stages of process of printing and dyeing. The selected cream (any light color) cotton fabric is soaked in water for overnight and lashed with the wooden beater (bat shape wood) in the flowing water to remove the starch content and impurities in the fabric.
Stage 1 (Hardae Process):
To the mixture of 100gms of Hardae powder (Tamarind seed powder) 20 liters of water is added and stirred well for 5 minutes, to which the fabric is soaked for about 5-10 minutes and dried under sunlight.
Stage 2 (White Print):
For white print- Arabic gum and Lime stone (chunna) are stirred well and this mixture can be used for about two days’ processes with minimum of two times stirring in a day. To highlight white, cream colors in the blue cloth, it is print with the white mixture. The hardae fabric is spread on the printing table and printed with outline blocks (Rekh) with white print on both sides of the fabric. The white print reserves the areas of the fabric to which it is applied with lime and Arabic gum. The white printed fabric is dried under sunlight for about 15- 20 minutes.
Stage 3 (Black Print):
For black print- Iron and Jaggery mixed with water, kept for about 15 -20 days. This solution is mixed well with the tamarind seed powder and boiled up to 80-90 degree centigrade for about 30 minutes and cooled. The black print mixture is poured in the printing tray, spread evenly and printed with blocks locally called as Kat.
Stage 4 (Red Print):
For red print- 5 liters of water and about 200gms of multani miti is mixed well which is filtered with a piece of cloth. To which 1kg of alum, 2kg of Arabic gum and 100gms of eco-friendly lalkasi (chemical) is added and mixed well. Red color is printed after the fabric is dried with black print.
Stage 5 (Indigo):
For 300gms of indigo powder, 1.5 Hydro’s (Sodium dithionite), 100 liters of water is stirred well. The fabric is immersed from one side; the whole fabric is fully immersed in for about 5 to 10 minutes without rinsing.
Stage 6 (Boiled with Aligirin (madir):
213 gms of aligirin is filtered with a piece of cloth in 7 to 8 litres of water in a copper vessel. To which Dhawdaka phul (Pawdas, Rajasthan flower) and indigo dyed fabric is immersed completely and boiled for about 45 minutes. After the above 6 stages, the process to the fabric is done as per the choice of the end product to be obtained. For more of blue color shade meena color method is preferred, for more of greenish blue shade green color method is preferred.
For Meena Color:
As per the customer’s choice, the selection of the printing is done. For more of white, it is printed with white on the red printed areas, for red color to be highlighted the red printed areas are untouched. The dried fabric is immersed in the indigo color from one side, washed and dried under sunlight. The fabric is boiled with aligirin (padwas), dhawdaka phul, washed and dried.
For Green Color:
For 20 litres of water 1kg of pomegranate skin is soaked and boiled which is hot sprayed on to the fabric and dried. A mixture of 20 litres of water 500 grams of turmeric powder is added and boiled which is hot sprayed on the fabric and dried. The fabric is soaked in the alum solution, washed and dried.