Rajasthan People

THE BEWITCHING BANDHEJ FROM THE CITY OF DESERTS

From the land of blazing and vibrant textiles, we present you with the captivating craft of Bandhej. This experimental and striking technique of tie-dye is definitely a show stealer if replicated on apparels. If you are still unaware of this textile art, then in the next few paragraphs you will get a complete insight into the world of Bandhnis or Bandhej.

Bandhni is a tie and dye method prevalent majorly in parts of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh. Bandhani is derived from a Sanskrit word Bandna which means to tie something. The complex fabric tying and dyeing is certainly a work of highly skilled artisans. A variety of patterns and textures can be obtained by tying them differently.

The art of Bandhani is as alluring as the fabric itself. The fabric to be dyed is tied very tightly at different points in knots and then dyed with miscellaneous colours. When this tied cloth goes for dyeing, these threads or knots doesn’t let that part to get dyed and allows it to stay white or whatever colour the cloth was dyed initially. Once the cloth is dyed, it is left for drying in open air.  Drying can take some time depending upon the weather conditions.

 There are variegated forms of tie and dyes but Bandhej is the oldest. It trails to five thousand years back. Its historical evidence can be found in visuals of Ajanta caves. The first Bandhani saree was worn at the time of Bana Bhatt`s Harshacharita in a royal marriage. In India, Bandhani work was initiated by the Khatri Community of Gujarat. This age old craft is still in practice. Places in Rajasthan like Jaipur, Sikar, Bhilwara, Udaipur, Bikaner, Ajmer and Jamnagar in Gujarat are famous for making sarees, dupattas and turbans in Bandhani. 

Rajasthani Bandhej Turban // Image Courtesy – Vintage India

Bandhani comes in an assorted of colours, designs & patterns and these variations are region specific. The colours that are most prominently used in Bandhani are yellow, red, green, blue and black. After the processing is over, Bandhani work results into a variety of symbols including dots, waves, strips and squares. The patterns include Leheriya, Mothra, Ekdali and Shikari depending on the manner in which the cloth has been tied.

The outfits constitutes of Khombi, Patori, Gharchola and Chandrokhani. Bandhej work can be seen on Sarees, Kurtas, Salwar kameez, and Chaniya cholis. The designs include Ekdali -single knot, Trikunti -three knots, Chaubandi-four knots, Dungar Shahi -mountain pattern, Boond -small dot with a dark center, Kodi -teardrop shape and Laddu Jalebi-Indian sweets. Different colours reflects different meanings in Bandhani.

Bandhani is truly an artistic textile and it’s a regular sight to see not only women embracing the Bandhni attires but the Rajasthani men can be found wearing turbans with Bandhej motifs. The main market is in Gujarat but it is in demand across the borders. The sales shoot up during the wedding and festive seasons. Mostly, it is used as dupattas by the ladies on festivals. The beauty and durability of Bandhani is lost if ironed with a high heat setting. Thus, it is recommended to get your Bandhej apparel dry-cleaned or if ironed at home, it should be with low heat. 

Explore the vast range of beautiful and bold multi coloured Bandhani during your next visit to Jaipur or other neighbouring cities. The vibrancy of the textile never disappointed anyone. Delve in its essence and colourful vibes in variegated forms.  

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About Samiksha Dashora

To the new beginning from dusk to dawn of my time, I shall grow like forest fire. Beneath the makeup and behind the smile I am just a girl who wishes for the world.

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