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Bandhani : The Magic of Colours

Bandhani : The Magic of Colours

Bandhani a form of surface enhancement that is done by using tie-dye technique. It is believed that it may have originated accidentally but eventually evolved into an art form. I work with skilled craftsmen from Kutch in Gujarat, through Saurashtra, Rajasthan, and Haryana to make exquisite bandhani sarees and dupattas

The word Bandhani/ Bandhni has been derived from the Hindi/ Sanskrit words ‘Bandhna’ and ‘Bandha’, meaning ‘tying’ or ‘to tie’. Bandhej is just another variation of the same word. So essentially, Bandhani refers to the traditional Indian ‘tie and dye‘ art (resist-dyeing technique that uses impermeable threads for tying), used to produce beautiful, fine patterns on fabrics.’

Bandhani is offered in different varieties; Ekdali means single knot, Trikunti means three knots; Chaubandi means four knots and Boond means small dot with a dark centre.

The art of making Bandhani:-

  • bleaching the cloth, then folding it across its length and then across its width, thus making four-folds · cloth is then passed on for the tying of knots on the outline in the border, as well as on the pattern for the body of the sari. Small mustard seeds and lentils are used to tie knots, making this a very time-consuming process.
  • the left hand is used for pinching the cloth and the right hand holds a long thread, which is wound around the cloth and knotted. This is repeated with the same thread with rapid dexterous movement. The knots must be handled carefully when dyeing, as they can unravel easily by tugging at the open end.
  • initially, the sections that are to remain white are tied. The fabrics are then collected by the dyer and are dyed in a light yellow colour, after which the fabrics are again returned for tying; the next set of knots is tied to retain the yellow colour. The process continues from lighter colours to the final dark colour, which is either a brilliant red, purple, black, dark green, or deep blue.

I like embellishing the bandhani sarees with hand embroidery and gota work. I style them with lots of statement jewellery and bold make up. It would be fair to say that bandhani sarees and dupattas are one of my favourite and everyone should have at least one in their wardrobe. I personally also use the sarees draped into a dhoti and paired with a kurta and nehru jacket sometimes!.

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