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States Art and Craft Work

India - Arts and Crafts - Bandhani or Tie and Dye

Bandhani or Tie and Dye



¤ The Craft Displayed On Attire

Bandhani The people of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh make up with the brilliancy of their clothes for what the terrain lacks in color. Cotton or silk cloth is tied into sections to exclude the dye to achieve a two-color effect. For a more intricate design, different sections are tied at every stage of dyeing and a variety of colors used. Thereafter, the fabric opens out into amazing designs: dots, circles, squares, waves and stripes.


¤ Tie and Dye Technique

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 colour. The rainbow-tinged turbans of the Rajputs and the odhnis of their women are shaded by this method of resist dyeing. Your visit to Jaipur won’t be complete without a trip to the nearby towns of Bagru and Sanganer, where you can observe the Chhipa community of dyers at work.


¤ The Main Color Used

The main colours used in Bandhani are yellow, green, red and black. It is essentially a household craft supervised by the head of the family. The fabric is skillfully knotted by the women, while the portfolio of dyeing rests with the men. The women often grow a long nail on the little finger of the left hand, or wear a ring with a little blunt spike on it, with which they push the cloth upwards to form a tiny peak.

The Jaipur dyer rarely works with more than two dye baths while the additional colours are spot dyed, which makes the process much easier. Thereafter, the fabric opens out into amazing designs in kaleidoscopic colours: dots, circles, squares, waves and stripes.


¤ The Laheriya or Ripple Effect On Fabric

The laheriya or the ripple effect is achieved by a variation of this technique. Lengths of permeable muslin are rolled diagonally from one corner to the opposite, bound tightly at intervals and then dyed. The ties are then undone and the process repeated by diagonally rolling the adjacent corner toward the opposite and repeating the process. Both Jaipur and Jodhpur are major centres of laheriya. Jaipur in particular, thanks to its status as the state capital, has girt its loins to meet the extensive demands of both the domestic and export markets.

Tie and dye cloth is never too expensive but be warned that the colours always run. So if you’ve bought silk, it’s safer to get it dry-cleaned.


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