In the last few decades, bandhani has experienced success in Indian urban and global markets. Adapted designs, new colours, natural dyes and new garments made by skilled craftspeople using the traditional technique can be found in up-market shops all over India and abroad.
An individual who has worked hard to keep the traditional craft of bandhani skills going, and put the craft on an international platform, is consultant designer and researcer in natural dyes, resist dyeing and printing, Kamaldeep Kaur, also known by her company name Neelgar.
After many successful projects with artisans in Gujarat offering her design expertise to help build their markets, Kamaldeep specialised in bandhani.
She started with a task force of eight women and is now supporting about 200 families, training them in design and quality. A piece can take from four weeks to one year to produce depending upon the design .So far the largest number of dots/ knots in a piece has been approximately 80 thousand and it took a year to make.
Her recent collections have been inspired by different cultures, traditions and nature. She has been particularly inspired by Japan, Africa and Malaysia. For example in a recent piece she has taken motifs used in Malaysian ikat and translated them in a bandhani pattern. Kamaldeep explains that her recent focus has been on quality and to promote this quality all over the world, informing people of the rich traditions in craft and the high level of skill of craftspeople in India, and with an aim to rid the view of India’s cloth production existing solely of the cheap mass-produced garments.