Linking the Researchers, Developing the Innovations Manuscripts submittal opens till 30 September, 2020. Please submit your papers at or

  • Volume 2019

    Block Printing in Sindh, AJRAK and other Contemporaray Products
    (International Journal of Art, Culture, Design and Language)

    Vol. 6, Issue 05, PP. 01-10, May 2019
    Keywords: Block printing, Ajrak, contemporary products, fabrics and patterns

    Download PDF


    The purpose of the study is to record the oldest printing technique hand-block printing and preserve its evergreen product Ajrak which is the traditional textile of Sindh. To find out the reasons of abandoning this traditional craft and to witness the difference in block printing done before and now. Different towns of Sindh were visited and eleven artisans (Ajrak-maker/block-printer and block-maker) were interviewed and a questionnaire was filled. The results illustrate that they are suffering from many problems but one of the major problem is lack of clean water which is badly affecting their business. It was also observed that traditional Ajrak formats and patterns are disappearing as only one or two patterns are mostly used nowadays. Whereas the machine block printing has somehow also affected the traditional craft. Despite all the problems they are still so passionate about this craft that they are training their children as well but there are certain evidences that Ajrak-making may not remain a family business anymore as it may be transferred to outsiders in future. However, they have also invented different contemporary products using various types of fabrics and patterns in hand-block printing according to the demand of the modern world. There may be a good contribution of this research to aware the people of the current situation of the ancient craft and a little effort can save the craft from further vanishing. It may also help the government to identify their problems and fulfill their basic needs so that the remaining centers can be saved.


    1. Asra Jan: Department of Textile Design at the Centre of Excellence in Art & Design, MUET, Jamshoro
    2. Bhai Khan Shar: Department of Textile Design at the Centre of Excellence in Art & Design, MUET, Jamshoro

    Full Text


    Asra Jan, Bhai Khan Shar, "Block Printing in Sindh, AJRAK and other Contemporaray Products" International Journal of Art, Culture, Design and Language, Vol. 6, Issue 05, PP. 01-10, May 2019.


    1. [1]     A Brief History of Block Printing. (2017). [online]. ( Toast Magazine.
    2. [2]     Ali, K.K. (2016). Ajrak: Keeping Tradition Alive. [online]. (
    3. [3]     Ali, S. (2015). Ajrak- A Living Artistry of Sindh. [online] ( Sindhi Duniya.
    4. [4]     Askari, N. & Crill, R. (1997). Colours of the Indus. London: Merrell Holberton.
    5. [5]     Bilgrami, N.J. (1990). Sindh jo Ajrak. Pakistan: Department of Culture and Tourism Government of Sindh.
    6. [6]     Bilgrami, N.J. (2006). The Craft Traditions of Pakistan. Karachi: Trade Development Authority of Pakistan, Government of Pakistan.
    7. [7]     Daily Kawish, 30 July 2018.
    8. [8]     Dawn, 26 September 2010. [online]. (
    9. [9]     Duarte, A. (1982). The Crafts & Textiles of Sindh & Balochistan. Hyderabad Sindh: Institute of Sindhology.
    10. [10]  Qalbani, E. (2013). Ajrak: A Symbol of Sindhi Culture and Tradition. [online]. (
    11. [11]  Gillow, J. & Barnard, N. (1993). Traditional Indian Textiles. London: Thames & Hudson Ltd.
    12. [12]  Jaipur- History of Block Printing. (2017). [online]. (
    13. [13]  Nadiem, I.H. (2002), Portrait of Sindh, Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications Pakistan.
    14. [14]  Pradesh, M. (2017). Ajrak Printing: A Testimony to Ancient Indian Arts & Crafts Traditions. [online]. ( (accessed May 06 2018)
    15. [15]  Qazi, W.K. (2010). Handicrafts of Sindh. Karachi: Secretary to the Government of Sindh, Cultural Department.
    16. [16]  Shah, D. (2014). The Ageless Ajrak. [online]. ( The Express Tribune Magazine.
    17. [17]  Shok, N.A.Dr. (1990). Sindh ja Hunar. Karachi: Department of Culture & Tourism Government of Sindh.
    18. [18]  Sindhi Ajrak: An Ancient Art Form. (2015). [online]. ( Pakistan Defence.
    19. [19]  The Printing Process: Block Printing. (2012). [online]. ( Oh So Beautiful Paper.
    20. [20]  Yacopino, F. (1977). Threadlines Pakistan. Karachi: Elite Publishers Ltd.
    21. [21]
    22. [22]