Bandhani- A Detailed Guide on Tie and Die Art of Gujarat

Bandhani, after hearing the word the first thing which comes to our mind is the bright color, tie and die patterns, turbans, ghagras and folk dance. This amazing symbolic word is prevalent to the famous desert state of Gujarat along with parts of Rajasthan. The Bandhani is not just a fabric or a handcrafted art; it is a complete emotion. An Indian ethnic wear emotion whose colors connect people with memories.

You might be thinking, what is bandhani? Why it has been given so much importance. To help you out with this, the guide below will make you understand.

What is Bandhani or Bandhej?

So, exactly what is bandhani or bandhej. Both the terms are used interchangeably. It is an ancient tie and dye technique, where numerous patterns are created by plucking or tying the cloth, and later the fabric is dyed using natural colors. Earlier these patterns were created on the bandhani saree, but with the growing demand, this amazing art can now be done on stoles, salwar suits and dupattas. 

The term bandhani is originated from the Sanskrit word “bandana” or “bandha,” which means to bind or tie. The complete bandhani printing process is results in the cluster of patterns and various designs. These patterns & colors are auspicious and depict different meaning on different occasions.

The bandhani art is one of the oldest forms of the handcrafted art form which is used on fabric to create a variety of designs. Various evidence of bandhej as old as 5000 years were found.

Some of the popular evidence which depicts the ancient history of the bandhani saree are-

A painting depicting the life of buddha which was painted with the help of bandhani art, was found hanging in the Ajanta caves.

The silk and bandhani saree used to be worn during the time of the famous Indian emperor “ Bana Bhatt`s Harshacharita “ on the occasion of the royal wedding.

Various mentions by Alexander the great regarding the cotton prints of India indicate the bandhani print.

Various Evidence of Indus valley civilization indicates the popular bandhej prints.

Origin of Bandhani - Tie and Dye Printing

Following the early initial, it is said that at first, the bandhani artwork was started by the Khatri community. If we take a look at the present scenario, the state of Gujarat is still the epicenter with the most bandhani artisans. Along with this, you will also find the popular bandhej art in the parts of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. All these states are famous for producing world-class authentic, pure bandhani saree and bandhani dupattas.

Most of these tie and dye printing work is done on the cotton and silk fabric. The popular bandhani cotton sarees are handcrafted using mulmul and Kota cotton. On the other hand, an assortment of silks are used for the preparation of the bandhani silk saree. 

Bandhani Technique or Process

The art of bandhani or bandhej is an extensive process that requires alot of time and patience. It is among one of the highly skilled artworks practiced by hands.

The complete process involves various steps, which we have discussed down below.

Step-1 Preparation of the fabric

The desired length of cotton, silk or wool is taken and washed down using the starchy water before the dyeing process.

Step-2 Tying the fabric -

Once the initial stage of fabric creation is completed, the next step is tying the fabric which comes into action. The material is then tied tightly at several points using a waterproof thread which helps the tied parts to remain white or as the colors of fabric.

Some popular bandhani patterns are Bavan Baug, Chandrakala, Shikari etcetera. All these patterns vary in how the fabric is tied.

Step- 3 Dyeing the fabric-

The colors of the fabric plays one of the most crucial roles in the bandhani artwork. Authentically only a few selected colors are used during the time of production. These colors remark the auspiciousness and are sacred to the various culture. The prominent colors are red, yellow, blue, green and black. All these dyes are naturally extracted dyes from flowers and vegetables.

Application of Bandhani

From the past few decades, the popularity of bandhani has been increasing continuously, and the sales of bandhani products tend to increase during the festive and wedding season. More and more fashion designers are experimenting with the bandhani nowadays, which eventually increases the popularity of these bandhani products among celebrities.

Gujarat being one of the epicenters of the bandhani product, they state is also the highest importer of the bandhani product all across the world.  One of the best bandhani printing works can be found in the Kutch district of Gujarat.

Kutch has one of the best bandhani printing work all over the world. It is the hub of artisans who have been doing bandhani printing work over the generations which was passed on to them to their ancestors. Kutchi Bazaar is master in selling handcrafted bandhani products online in India. The whole bandhani/ bandhej operations are handled by the Sajid Khatri- Bandhani artist from the Kutch. He is the master of bandhani art who has won the national award for his bandhani artwork.

You will find a wide variety of handcrafted bandhej saree, Bandhej dupatta, Stoles and Suits materials.

Also Read This BlogTop 5 Selling Authentic Bandhani Print Saree