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Traditional Sindhi & Javanese Techniques Hasita Kamlesh | Senior Thesis 1 | Paul Carlos | Fall 2012



For my thesis I want to create patterns using techniques that are traditional to the two cultures I associate myself with. Ajrak is a traditional Sindh form of pattern making using woodcuts. Batik, is an Indonesian process of using wax and dyes to create multicolored patterned cloths. I want to create 3 patterns, one Ajrak, one Batik and one combination of the two. My audience is not specific to any region of the world, although the patterns I will create are in the traditional techniques, the patterns itself will be contemporary, and not directly read as Indian or Indonesian. I want to bring awareness to these unique techniques. It is relevant particularly in this day and age where many things can be done a lot faster due to technology and I believe going back to ones roots is very important. Most handmade one-of a kind products have been replaced by assembly line products. The thing that makes this like other things is that it is a creation of patterns, it has been done before but what makes it unlike many things is that it is my take on these two cultures. Two cultures that I have been raised with, it is my point of view and upbringing translated into these patterns and the combination of Ajrak and Batik is the result of this.

Ajrak: “is a name given to a unique form of blockprinted shawls and tiles found in Sindh, Pakistan. Ajraks are also worn by the Saraiki people of Southern Punjab and Kutch. These shawls display special designs and patterns made using block printing by stamps. Common colours used while making these patterns may include but are not limited to blue, red, black, yellow and green. Over the years, ajraks have become a symbol of the Sindhi culture and traditions.”1 Batik: “is a cloth that is traditionally made using a manual wax-resist dyeing technique. Javanese traditional batik, especially from Yogyakarta and Surakarta, has notable meanings rooted to the Javanese conceptualization of the universe. Traditional colours include indigo, dark brown, and white, which represent the three major Hindu Gods (Brahmā, Vishnu, and Śiva). This is related to the fact that natural dyes are most commonly available in indigo and brown.”2

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This board was created with images of pattern-making techniques and images of patterns. I chose these rich colors because they are found in the traditional cloths.


Ajrak Woodblock Prints

Indonesian Batik Prints



2 1. Marimekko 2. Sonnhild Kestler 3.Timorous Beasties Hornbrook collection 4. Christopher Wool 5.Koloman Moser. 5




The above are scans of various sketchbooks where i have found myself doodling to create potential patterns. these patterns, particularly the third from the right is one that i default to.

SKETCHES & DOODLES I have been made aware that the patterns I doodle have a sense of congestion and in that congestion there is a sense of n


Illustrations of flowers found in Java, Indonesia and Sindh, Pakistan. The Jasmine flower is the national flower of both Pakistan and Indonesia. The illlustrations are of Jasmine, Water Hyacinth,Rafflesia and Moon Orchids.


This is a pattern i created as a test to practice floral patterns


A woodcut i worked on to see if i could carve out intricate patterns. Inside the silhoutte of the sub-continent of India i carved a mendhi pattern (also known as henna)that are used to decorate hands and feet of women.

Hasita Kamlesh Thesis 1 Draft 1  

Thesis Draft