What is Bandhani?

Bandhani is a technique of tie and dye. As the name suggests, the technique of Tie and Dye involves two stages: tying sections of a length of cloth (silk or cotton) and then dunking it into vats of color. The rainbow-tinged turbans of the Rajputs and the odhnis of their women are shaded by this method of resist dyeing.

The term “bandhani” derives its name from the Hindi word Bandhan which means tying up. Bandhani is an ancient art practised by people mainly of Rajasthan and Gujarat. Jaipur, Udaipur, Bikaner and Ajmer and Jamnagar are among the important centers producing odhnis, saris and turbans in bandhani. The wide variety was evolved over the centuries because of its close links with the religious and social customs of different people. Bandhani work involves tying and dyeing of pieces of cotton or silk cloth. The main colors used in Bandhani are yellow, red, green and black. Bandhani work, after the processing is over, results into a variety of symbols including, dots, squares, waves and strips. The main colors used in Bandhani are natural.


Rajasthan, the vibrant and colorful state of India, has a rich heritage that attracts tourists from all across the world. The state has not only conserved but also nurtured its ancient heritage of art, dance, music and crafts. One of the more famous textile art forms of Rajasthan is Bandhani, that is, the art of printing varied patterns on fabric using the Tie and Dye method. The Tie and Dye technique used on fabrics is no doubt a very old process for patterning textiles and the term Bandhani denotes both the textiles and the technique of tying before dyeing.


Bandhani is the expression used in Gujarat for textiles in which extremely delicate and intricate designs are produced by tying individual parts of the fabric before dyeing. The process entails folding the cloth, stamping the design on it, bunching minute portions of it along the design outlines, and tying each one of these with cotton yarn. This first set of ties is then dyed in the lightest color, usually yellow. After rinsing and drying, the worker ties the fabric for the next darker color, perhaps red or green. Again there is a renewal of the tying until the darkest parts are dyed and the entire design is complete. The cloth used for bandhani is thin cotton or malmal, georgette and silk. The people of Gujarat engaged in making designs on fabric using the technique of tie and dyeing are known as Bandhani.


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