26 February 2013

Anokhi Museum

The highlight of our stay in Jaipur was a visit to the Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing, which is in a restored haveli just past the Amber Fort. The building itself was restored from ruins using traditional methods and local craftsmen, and (even more impressively) came in under budget—theres a section of the museum dedicated to the restoration process. There’s also a large collection of textiles with historical contexts, and two artisans who demonstrate how to carve the wood blocks used in hand printing as well as how to print. They were so generous and patient.

In the photos I’m wearing a knee-length tunic, one of three that the tailor at Ahilya made for me using fabric from the Rehwa Society. It stood up nicely to the demands of bus/train/rickshaw travel with a pair of leggings underneath, and seemed to attract far less attention than my other (conservative) Western clothing.

Last thing: if you haven’t come across Block Shop yet, they use the same techniques to print scarves with designs by Lily Stockman. Vivid products of a beautiful tradition.