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ANOKHI: Reviving Jaipur's Block Printing Heritage

Established by the visionary duo, John and Faith Singh, in the pivotal year of 1970, ANOKHI emerged as a beacon of hope amidst the dwindling fortunes of Jaipur's block printing heritage. At a time when the relentless tide of modernization threatened to wash away the intricate artistry of handcrafted textiles, ANOKHI stood as a bulwark against the encroaching oblivion, championing the cause of traditional craftsmanship with a modern flair.

The Genesis of a Craft Revival

Nestled in the heart of Jaipur, a city renowned for its rich tapestry of arts and crafts, Anokhi took root. The city, conceived by patrons with a profound appreciation for cultural heritage, offered a sanctuary for artisans. Among these were the master block carvers and printers, whose skills were cultivated and nurtured, ensuring their craft not only survived but thrived.

A Modern Twist on Traditional Techniques

Anokhi's journey began modestly, with collections that breathed new life into the venerable art of block printing. The brand's designers, working closely with artisans, infused traditional designs with a fresh, contemporary sensibility, transforming them into fashionable attire and accessories that appealed to the tastes of modern consumers. Their creations, ranging from elegant evening wear to casual boleros and vibrant kaftans, found a welcoming audience in boutique stores throughout England. This initial success paved the way for the introduction of decorative home textiles, drawing inspiration from Jaipur’s iconic quilts and bedcovers, thereby broadening ANOKHI's repertoire and appeal.

In a move to bridge the gap between traditional craft and contemporary design, ANOKHI opened its doors to creative minds from design schools through internships and projects. This initiative aimed to cultivate an appreciation for the symbiotic relationship between age-old techniques and modern aesthetics, ensuring the craft's relevance for future generations.

A New Chapter with New Custodians

The mantle of leadership transitioned in the mid-1990s to a new generation, imbued with the founding couple's passion and principles. This transition marked the beginning of an era of expansion and innovation as ANOKHI extended its reach within India through a network of stores, bringing the beauty of block-printed textiles to a wider audience.

The Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing

In a landmark move in 2005, ANOKHI established the Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing. This institution became a bastion for the preservation and celebration of block printing, offering insights into both its storied past and vibrant present. Through exhibitions and educational programmes, the museum endeavours to showcase the intricate beauty and enduring relevance of block-printed fabric, ensuring that this precious craft continues to inspire and enchant for generations to come.

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Through its unwavering commitment to craftsmanship and innovation, ANOKHI has not only preserved a piece of India’s cultural heritage but has also redefined it for the contemporary world, ensuring that the art of block printing remains as captivating and relevant today as it was centuries ago.


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