The complicated process of ajrakh making differs from center to center and craftsman to craftsman. The proportions of ingredients used and time taken in all the stages might differ from climatic changes, fabric structure and availability of raw-materials. An original ajrakh manufacture involves 23 steps, although these steps are altered now days according to the wish of the customers and quality requirements.
100 pieces of cloth of 5.5 sq. m. are cut from a big cloth of grey colour. Then 2 kg Soda bicarbonate and 1 kg Castor Oil are mixed till they mix well with each other. The mixture is added to 300 litre water. The 100 pieces are soaked in the mix for 24 hours.
After 24 hours, the cloth pieces are taken out and washed thoroughly by hitting them on a big stone. This process is continued for 3 days. Then the cloth becomes very soft and ready to absorb colour.
Now, 100 small balls are made by mixing Myrrh powder, Arandi oil, Sesame oil and Sakud powder in about 20 litres of water. Then, each piece of cloth is soaked again in water with a small ball added to it.
When the cloth absorbs the mixture, the cloth is squeezed and washed on big stone in such a way that all the creases of the cloth go off and cloth becomes creaseless. Two people hold the cloth from both the corner and let it dry by holding tight.
|1||Babul Gum||10 gm|
|2||Limestone powder||10 gm|
|3||Mustard oil||250 gm|
|5||Multani Mitti||5 gm|
|6||Cow dung (fresh, wet)||5 kg|
These six things are mixed well. The mixture is sieved with a thin cloth after 7 days. This is how Kirana is prepared. Then, required design is drawn in an outline on the cloth.
|5||Lime stone powder|
All these ingredients are mixed in about 500 litre of water. After several days, the indigo gets ready for printing. Each cloth piece is soaked in the indigo for 2-3 minutes and spread up-side-down to dry.
The Fitrakis is applied on the cloth, and then the cloth is left for drying.
For 20 pieces of cloth, 1 kg Fitrakis, 100 gm Soda bi-carb/250 gm turmeric are mixed in water. The half soaked cloth pieces are left to dry overnight.
The cloths are washed for the last time with Pa/ Pomegranate water/ Fitrakis, Turmeric etc. and then left for drying.
To get shining effect on the cloth, water is sprinkled on them. This process is repeated for 4-5 times. This results into a fine piece of ajrakh.