An Amity of Warmth; The Timeless Legacy of Jaipuri Razai.

by The Printroots
A landscape of dune, an endless desert, a narrative ballad and the land of royals.

Rajasthan is an empire of juxtaposed elements, home to the Banjaras and the Kings, shore of the dry heat and state of the cold nights, bound together by a richness that fills the air. And Jaipur
stands, as the bold capital, honing the richest and persisting its traditions.

The tale of Jaipuri Razai is of one such ceremonial practices. Known universally as a duvet or comforter, the Razai, literally meaning quilt, has origins in the early 16th century. Although the
specifics of the history remains largely unknown, it is said during the the evolution of Vishnuism (A philosophy that preaches the teachings of Lord Vishnu and the Vaishnav community), strict rules
were developed banning the usage of animal based products, such as wool and leather. However the extreme weathers of the state, especially the chilling desert winds, compelled locals to invent
a vegan alternative. The natives of the land started crafting quilts with hand-spun khadi shells and carded cotton fillings to provide warmth during the coldest of nights, the practice of which later gained popularity across territory once it obtained royal patronage. As its acclaim grew and the quilt captured the admiration of people across the world, they became more and more decorous
and intricate.

These quilts were traditionally made by the Mansoor community of Rajasthan and adorned with a varying patterns of Mughal butas, traditional florals, elephant emblems and other seasonable
motifs. In modern day Jaipur, the craft can be found in Topkhane Ka Rasta, Chaura Rasta, Chandpole Bazar and Sanganer, albeit with contemporary changes made to the original decorations.
Jaipur quilts are handmade and hand-stitched which makes every one of them uniquely formed. The ageless technique of crafting these quilts follows an arduous process of cotton carding, cotton
voile-making, and assembling. The outer shells are first prepared and then adorned by the decorous sway of hand block printed patterns, that heightens the allure of the product. Next, the cotton
fibres are arranged to be carded and used as fillings.  In the earlier times a pindar (bow) was used to fluff the cotton and remove the dross. However with the evolution of the technique and an
increase in demand, a carding machine is now employed to do the same. The carders are convex paddles equipped with small teeth. The cotton fibres are placed onto one of them, while the other
is drawn across the face of the first one multiple times. The position of carders is transitioned between horizontal and vertical, this is done to remove the dross from cotton, creating a heap of
waste material.

After carding, only the soft and fine fibres remain. This process, which takes a full week and transforms the filling into only around 100 grams of cotton, has attributed to the unique identity of
Jaipur Razai. The pieces are layered when the carded fibers are distributed evenly throughout the quilt. Failing to achieve uniformity can create bulging or sagging at some parts. This method is
pivotal in dispensation of warmth and airiness to the quilt, which is lastly assembled by stitching together the dual layers of hand-spun cotton and evenly laid out fillings. The final stage, where the edges of the quilt are hand stitched to ensure that the heat intact, is called “Tagaai” in native lexicon.

The 100 gms Jaipuri Razai has made a name for itself in the global market due to its seamless ease, airiness and effortless usability. The lightweight quilt is washable and requires minimal
maintenance. In The Printroots, we are known for crafting traditional Razai with laborious techniques of hand-stitching on double layered cottons with a number of opulent decorations  block
printed on reversible sides, resulting in a versatile design made to indulge the consumers and uphold the enduring heritage of Rajasthan.