Sindh Jo Ajrak by Noorjehan Bilgrami


This is the only major work on Ajrak, the famous double-printed cotton cloth of Sindh, Pakistan. Since the earliest trading contacts between Europe and Asia, this cloth has been appreciated and much sought after. The Venetian Niccolao Manucci wrote in 1659 that it "lasts beyond all cloths that I have used", and the Englishman William Fremlin noted that ".. of all sorts of Indian goods, none are in such request as those of Synda..." Years of painstaking research lies behind this book, which minutely describes the twenty odd laborious stages of producing ajrak. The book is unusual in that it also includes a detailed directory of the craftsmen she found which still practice the traditional craft correctly. With this book, the humble Sindhi craftsmen who have struggled to maintain a long and culturally significant tradition have received their monument. The craft has revived in recent years, and beautiful photographs well document this remarkable textile-making process.

Noorjehan Bilgrami is an artist, textile designer and researcher. Her interest in traditional crafts led to the formation of KOEL in Karachi, an atelier that pioneered the revival of hand-block printed fabrics in Pakistan. She is one of the founders of the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture and was its first Executive Director.

Noorjahan appears in our documentary Indigo: A World of Blue as does her project to revive the growing and use of natural indigo at the Miani Sindh Research Centre.

Hardcover Edition


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