Bandhani is also known as Bandhej or Tie Dye or Bandhni or Bandana, etc. as per the regional pronunciation.
The art of Bandhani is 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 Leheriya, Mothra, Ekdali and Shikari depending on the manner in which the cloth is tied. The main colours used in Bandhani are yellow, red,blue, green and black. Bandhani work, after the processing is over, results into a variety of symbols including, dots, squares, waves and strips. Bandhani pieces can be dyed by natural and artificial colors.
The main colours used in Bandhani are natural. In fact all colours in bandhani are dark, no light color is used, and the background is mostly in black / red cloth.
The Bandhani work has been exclusively carried out by the Khatri community of Kutchh. A meter length of cloth can have millions of tiny knots known as "Bheendi" in the local language ("Kutchhi"). Four bheendis are known as a "Kadi". These knots form a design once opened after dyeing in bright colors. Traditionally, the final products can be classified into "khombhi", "Ghar Chola", "Patori", "Chandrokhani" etc.
Bhuj and Mandvi of Kutch District of Gujarat State in India are well known for the finest quality of bandhani.
Saurashtra region of Gujarat state in India are also known for the Bandhani work but the taste of bandhani is different from other district.
Bandhani work is also done in Rajasthan state but having different types of colors and designs than the Kutch and Saurashtra of Gujarat. In Bandhani, different colors convey different meanings. While red represents a bride, a yellow background suggests a lady has become a mother recently.
Indian Bandhani, a traditional form of tie and dye, began about 5000 years ago. Also known as Bandhni and Bandhej, it is the oldest tie and dye tradition that is still practiced.Bandhani was introduced in Jamnagar when the city was founded 400 years ago.
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 where most women wear Bandhani saris, shawls or odhnis. The odhnis are also decorated with mirrors, gota and tassels to give it a richer and more decorative look.
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