Swar (voice) rang (colour). For its maiden collection, Funky Kalakar plays minstrel to the ancient art forms that are deep rooted in India. Be it the intricate detailing from Ajrakhpur’s famous vegetable dyes or the heritage infused geometry of Madhubani. Every stroke of the paintbrush and every piece of fabric is a testament to the chiming voice of the artists and their colourful legacy.
We have explored a 4500-year-old Ajrakh vegetable dyeing technique to print the cotton fabric, which is used for the uppers of the shoes. The origin of this technique can be traced back to Indus valley civilization. The designs are hand carved on the wooden block. The number of colours used in a design determines the number of wooden blocks needs to be made.
The cotton fabric goes through over 14 different steps in the vegetable dyeing process. The photo above shows the different steps involved in the Ajrakh printing process.