Produced in vibrant colors – red, green, pink, yellow and blue – Bandhani is not just a mere tie-dye textile art, rather it’s the most ancient technique indigenous to certain communities in Gujarat and Rajasthan. The Bandhani technique is passed on from generation to generation within selected families as a true form of art. Integrally linked to the cultural heritage of Western Indian states, it is a 5000-year old method of tie and dye, which is still in practice and is incorporated to create sarees, dupattas and turbans in desired colors and patterns.
The term ‘bandhani’ is derived from ‘bandhan’, which means tying together – Bandhani technique involves tying the textiles tightly with threads, wires, stones and grains, dunking them into tubs of colors and then when they are allowed to dry, they exude stunning results after un-tying.
Bandhani is all about elaborate motifs – bursts of creepers, jalas, flowers and bells are found commonly. Knots are of crucial importance – each knot come with its own unique name and is placed in clusters. For example, Ekdali refers a single knot, Trikunti is for three knots and four knots is known by Chaubundi.
Some of the widely popular Badhani designs are as follows:
- Dungar Shahi – mountain design
- Ekdali – a knot
- Chaubasi – a group of four
- Satbandi – a group of seven
- Tikunthi – a set of circles and squares in a group of three
- Boond – a tiny dot with a dark centre
- Laddu Jalebi – a swirling design
- Kodi – a tear shaped
Traditionally, Bandhani is developed on silks and cottons, while cotton comes first in preference. However, increasingly different types of fabrics – such as, handloom, crepe, muslin, georgette, chiffon, etc. are found in-trend among the fashion conscious tribe.
Now, talking about Gujarat, no auspicious ceremony is ever complete without Bandhani – if you ever peep into the bridal trousseau of a Gujju girl, you will find bundles of radiant red and white/ivory silk panetar sarees, embellished with golden and green bandhani dots and intricate embroidery, and resplendent Gaji silk gharchola sarees with distinctive bandhani and grid designs fighting for space inside the suitcases of these soon-going-to-be brides.
Conventional colors, like Red, Yellow, Blue, Pink, Maroon, Green, Mustard, Green, etc. are mostly used for developing stunning tie-dye Bandhani prints. Their bright and vibrant element of these colors instantly pumps up the charm quotient of the fabric. However, experiencing increasing demand for going off-beat, earthy colors, such as beige, orange, grey, indigo and moss green are found to be dominating the current indigenous craft sphere of India. Their subtle charisma and minimalistic flavor wins our heart at once.
Holding a special place in our hearts and rich Indian textile domain, Bandhani artform is one of the most distinct traditional designs found across India and abroad. Crafted by indigenous rural communities, Bandhani fabrics outpour a potpourri of emotion, imagination and passion, which is majestically reflected in the weaves, patterns and techniques.
Buy Gaji silk bandhani sarees online and support the artisans and their craft.