Exploring the art of block printing - Sindhi Ajrak

Asma Malik 11:56 AM | 16 May, 2018
Exploring the art of block printing - Sindhi Ajrak
MOHENJO-DARO- Pakistani traditions and customs are all about showing respect and love to one another. The crafts and art of every region represent the warm welcoming nature of the people.

One such example is of Ajrak.  It is from the Indus Valley tradition of Sindh, Pakistan, is one such item that has rich cultural value.

Ajrak is a block printed cloth with deep crimson red and indigo blue background, bearing symmetrical patterns with interspersed unprinted sparkling white motifs, mostly stars. Made of cotton, its suppleness reminds us of smooth silk.

More than a fabric, Ajrak is a Sindhi tradition, traceable from the earliest archaeological finds of the old Indus civilization of Moen Jo-Dero. It has been equally popular since time immemorial till today among its urban, rural and nomad users.

Ajrak is a compulsory part of Sindhi culture, but it also a symbol of Sindhi nationalism. The usage of Ajrak is must at all levels of the society and it’s a symbol of respect and dignity too. Ajrak is literally used in Sindh (Pakistan) from the cradle to the grave. It is used as a hammock for infants, headgear for girls, bridal accessory, a turban and a shawl, a bed cover, a tablecloth, a gift item and a token of respect to honor a guest. Most of the heads of state and dignitaries of Pakistan have used Ajrak in their public meetings to show respect and as a token of solidarity for Sindh Province.

The Muslim rulers used to award “Khilat” (an expensive gown) in recognition of the services of their courtiers. Similarly, Muslim Sindhi rulers also continued the tradition and awarded Ajrak in recognition of outstanding performances or the valuable services rendered by individuals.

Ajrak is being manufactured at the towns of Mityari, Bhit Shah and Hala located in and near Mityari District of Sindh Province in Pakistan. Bhit Shah is famous because of the great Sindhi mystic poet “Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai” whose famous poetic masterpiece “Shah Jo Risalo” occupies a very prominent place in Sindhi literature. Traditionally Ajrak is often offered or presented as gifts to the guests. Ajrak is a tradition of Sindhi culture than how it is possible that it will not be worn in the other events like weddings and other cultural events.

The real Ajrak is printed on both sides with using resist printing method. According to this method, the printing is done by hand with handy size wooden blocks. There are several different size blocks are used to making an Ajrak with a great effort and giving it an artistic touch. The Ajrak making process is considered very sensitive near the Ajrak makers and it is not just a job that they have to do, but a form of life.

Ajrak has been used as a symbol of love and representation to Sindhi culture by many artists, politicians, writers, and intellectuals also. The legendary Pakistani folk singer “Allan Faqir” with his down-to-earth personality was an inspiring artist with his stylish Ajrak attire including his dancing peacock like turban made of Ajrak.

One cannot miss buying an Ajrak while visiting Sindh and it is now being also used as a source of inspiration by many designers in terms of fashion not only in Pakistan but Worldwide also.



ISLAMABAD – Pakistani rupee finally ended its losing streak against US dollar on Tuesday, gaining Rs4.43 after massive depreciation over the last week.

During the intra-day trading, the rupee was hovering at 266.75 with an appreciation of around 1.07 percent as talks between Pakistan and IMF underway for a stalled bailout programme.

Earlier on Monday, the rupee plunged by Rs7 and the greenback touched all-time high of Rs272. Last week, the local currency dropped by Rs24.54 in the interbank market – the largest single-day depreciation in more than two decades.

Finance experts linked the rupee’s recovery to exporters offloading some of their proceeds as remittances and export continued days after dollar cap was removed.

The country of over 220 million is facing a worst economic crisis with the forex reserved held by the country’s central bank remaining at critical $3.68 billion which were not enough to cover a month's import.

KARACHI – The price of a single tola of 24-karat gold in Pakistan is Rs205,900 on Tuesday. The price of 10 grams of 24k gold was recorded at Rs176,530.

Likewise, 10 grams of 22k gold were being traded for Rs162,500 while a single tola of 22-karat gold was being sold at Rs 182,100.

Note: The gold rate in Pakistan is fluctuating according to the international market so the price is never been fixed. The below rates are provided by local gold markets and Sarafa Markets of different cities.

City Gold Silver
Lahore PKR 205,900 PKR 2,370
Karachi PKR 205,900 PKR 2,370
Islamabad PKR 205,900 PKR 2,370
Peshawar PKR 205,900 PKR 2,370
Quetta PKR 205,900 PKR 2,370
Sialkot PKR 205,900 PKR 2,370
Attock PKR 205,900 PKR 2,370
Gujranwala PKR 205,900 PKR 2,370
Jehlum PKR 205,900 PKR 2,370
Multan PKR 205,900 PKR 2,370
Bahawalpur PKR 205,900 PKR 2,370
Gujrat PKR 205,900 PKR 2,370
Nawabshah PKR 205,900 PKR 2,370
Chakwal PKR 205,900 PKR 2,370
Hyderabad PKR 205,900 PKR 2,370
Nowshehra PKR 205,900 PKR 2,370
Sargodha PKR 205,900 PKR 2,370
Faisalabad PKR 205,900 PKR 2,370
Mirpur PKR 205,900 PKR 2,370


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