Bandhani: Tie & Dye

Bandhani: Tie & Dye

One of the ancient and most beautiful art forms, Bandhani is derived from the Sanskrit word  'Banda' which means 'to tie'. Also known as Bandhej, Bandhani is a tie and dye art form mainly prevalent in Rajasthan, Gujarat and parts of Uttar Pradesh. Bandhani is a work of art that involves tying a fabric tightly at several points and then dyeing it. The outcome is a variety of patterns formed across the fabric.

This form of tie and dye started 5,000 years ago and is considered to be the oldest form. One of the earliest visual representation was seen in the Ajanta caves. The Bandhani work in India was started by the Khatri community of Gujarat. Centres producing odhnis, sarees and turbans in Bandhani are in Jaipur, Sikar, Bhilwara, Udaipur, Bikaner, Ajmer and Jamnagar in Gujarat.

Bandhani comes in a variety of colours, patterns and designs and these variations are region-specific.  The colours which are most prominently used in Bandhani are yellow, red, green, blue and black. After the processing, the Bandhani  work results in a variety of symbols that include dots, waves, strips and squares. The patterns include Leheriya,Mothra, Ekdali and Shikari.

The Bandhej work is extensively used in saris, salwar kameez, kurtas and chaniya cholis. While women are mostly seen in attire with Bandhej, men too can be seen in turbans with Bandhej motifs on them.