- The technique involves dyeing a fabric which is tied tightly with a thread at several points, thus producing a variety of patterns
- The Bandhani work has been exclusively carried out by the Khatri community of Kutchh and Saurashtra.
(IIP) - The art of Bandhana is a highly skilled process. The technique involves dyeing a fabric which is tied tightly with a thread at several points, thus producing a variety of patterns like Chandrakala, Bavan Baug, Shikari etcetera; depending on the manner in which the cloth is tied. The main colour used in Bandhana are yellow, red, blue, green and black.
The main colours used in Bandhana are natural. As Bandhani is a tie and dye process, dying is done by hand and hence best colours and combinations are possible in Bandhanis.
The Bandhani work has been exclusively carried out by the Khatri community of Kutchh and Saurashtra. A meter length of cloth can have thousands of tiny knots known as 'Bheendi' in the local language ('Gujarati'). These knots form a design once opened after dyeing in bright colours. Traditionally, the final products can be classified into 'khombhi', 'Ghar Chola', 'Chandrakhani', 'Shikari', 'Chowkidaar', 'Ambadaal' and other categories.
Ahmedabad in India is known for Bandhanis. Bandhani work is also done in Rajasthan state but having different types of colours and designs than the Kutch and Saurashtra of Gujarat. Establishments of varying sizes in the entire Kutch belt in Gujarat produce many varieties of Bandhani. This Bandhani style is called as the Kutchi Bandhani, which is also practised in the Sourasthra region of Gujarat. Bandhani tying is often a family trade, and the women of these families work at home to tie patterns. Mandavi, Bhuj, Anjar, Jamnagar, Morbi, Rajkot, Deesa are some of the main towns in Gujarat, where Bandhani is created. The city of Jamnagar, located in the Gulf of Kutch, in Gujarat is well known for its red Bandhani. Dyeing process of Bandhani is carried out extensively in this city, as the water of this area is known to give a particular brightness to colors, specifically reds and maroons.
In Bandhani, different colours convey different meanings. People believe that wearing Red brings good luck to a newly wed's life.
Bandhani is being sold all over India and the demand has increased over the past few decades. Sales go up during the festive and wedding seasons in India. The bulk of the market is domestic with the main market being in Gujarat. As per survey, the most exclusive Bandhanis are being sold at well-known retailers Khatri Jamnadas Bechardas in Mumbai, and Khatri Mangalya Heritage Bandhani in Ahmedabad.
There’s sensuousness to reading a cloth, taking one’s fingers and lightly passing over the surface, like braille. To me, Indian bandhani is the braille of all artisan-made cloth resists; this is why I chose it as the ClothRoads scarf this month. Simply stated, bandhani is one form of tie-dyed cloth. It’s a technique of creating patterns on cloth by resisting parts of the fabric by tying small, continuous knots in it before it’s dyed. The areas where the knots are tied don’t allow the dye to penetrate, leaving these areas the color of the original cloth.