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All About Bandhani - The Tie Dye Tales!

All About Bandhani - The Tie Dye Tales!

Etymology: 

The word Bandhani is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Bandh’, which means to tie or bind. 

A Brief History of Bandhani Craft:

A Grey Bandhani Silk Saree in background with an ajanta cave painting with bandhani depiction set in picture.

Indian craft traditions can be traced back to the Indus civilization. Artefacts found around 4000 BC show dyed cloth. The Bandhani craft in India can be seen through carvings in the Ajanta cave around 6th century where Buddha’s statue is clad in Bandhani cloth. Alexander the great mentions distinctly dyed fabrics available in India that he had encountered during his expeditions. The tie-dye craft has travelled across the world. One can find interpreted and beautiful Tie-Dye traditions across Asian countries like Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, India and African and South American Nations too. For centuries this craft has evolved around the world imbibing the changing scenarios.

Bandhani - The Indian Tie-Dye: 

Bandhani craft is learnt, observed, and passed down from one family member to another. The craft clusters in Rajasthan and Gujrat are still practiced among families. It is a unique process and in this blog we are going to look into how the bandhani craft is created. 

What is Bandhani?

A red bandhani silk saree picture with a close up image of a fabric being knotted for dyeing.

The art of creating patterns on fabric is the symbol of true luxury. The process is highly laborious and is done with keen attention to detail. Also known as Bandhej, this is a craft practiced after the woven stage. The woven fabric is tied and dyed, thus, making it a cousin to the Ikat. 

Process:

Let us look at the various stages of how bandhani is made:

  • First, an outline is drawn in the area where the fabric is to be dyed
  • A plastic sheet with pin sized holes has the pattern with colours.
  • This is placed on top of the fabric and the colours get transferred to the fabric.
  • The cloth around the dot is slowly knotted. 
  • After making the knots, the fabric is ready for the next step.

Series of picture depicting the initial stages of bandhani craft process.

  • Now, the fabric is washed so that prints of the colour vanishes.
  • This is now dipped in a naphthol solution for exactly 5minutes. 
  • The fabric is dyed with a lighter colour 
  • Later the fabric is rinsed, dried, tied and dyed in a darker colour. 
  • This fabric is let dry in the sun for 4-Hours
  • The fabric beneath the knots will remain undyed.

Series of picture depicting the dying and drying of the fabric during bandhani craft process.

The artisans perform these steps with adoration. Once the fabric is dried, it is again washed to remove starch. The finished dried fabric is taken and the markers are slowly removed. When the knots are untied, the patterns reveal in blank dots. A beautiful dyed fabric with eventful dots. 

Types of Patterns: 

Series of picture depicting variety of pattern in bandhani craft.

Ekdali or Bhoond is where you will find a single dot. Tikunthi is a type where there are three dots that make a circle and square. Four dots are called Chaubandi. A variety of patterns are made across the fabric using multiple dots called as Chandrakala, Shikari (Mountain), Jaaldar (Web Like Pattern), Beldaar (Vine Pattern), Jalebi (Swirling Pattern), Leheriya (Wave Line Pattern). 

How to Style your Bandhani Saree?

The vibrant colours of the Bandhani infuse life into any occasion. Pair your saree with a velvet blouse - A perfect ensemble for a wedding! The Gota Patti embroidery along the length of the saree shines as you sizzle at the wedding. 

With the festive season just around the corner, it's a great time to invest in a traditional designer bandhani saree and drape it with a contemporary strapless blouse.

We know that even if you’re attending a traditional function or a small pooja at home, there's a Bandhani Saree to suit every occasion. For those of you who fit into the traditional look, check out our stunning collection of Bandhani Kanjivaram sarees

The key to effortlessly elevating your Bandhani Look, as proven by celebrities, is to make your blouse work for you. Whether you do it by picking an opulent fabric like velvet, embroidered or embellished ones - Make sure that you style it with an awesome attitude. 

Alternatively, you can also use the same strategy to tone down your look or give your bandhani saree a modern twist. Look towards unconventional blouses like shirts and oversized tops. 

Explore our curated collection of bandhani silk sarees with us as we pay our tribute to this most vibrant craft!

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