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Bandhani, also known as Bandhej, is a dye and tie method practiced mainly in Rajasthan, and some parts of Gujarat. Bandhani derives from the Sanskrit word "Banda," meaning "to tie." Bandhani is an art involving the dyeing of a fabric tied tightly with a thread at several points, creating various patterns.
Bandhej is the ancient form of dye and ties art that began around 5000 years ago. As per the ancient and historical evidence, the first Bandhani saree was worn during Bana Bhatt's Harshacharita in a royal marriage. The earliest visual representations of Bandhej art can be seen in the Ajanta caves. In India, Bandhani's work was pioneered by the Khatri community in Gujarat. In Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Uttar Pradesh, various places are well-known centers producing odhnis, sarees, and turbans in Bandhani. The traditional art form is still practiced in India.
Making and process:
The Bandhani formation is as exciting as its history. The fabric is tied tightly at different points in knots and then stained with unique colors. When the related part goes for dyeing, the threads or knots don't let that portion catch color and stay white. Once the cloth is dyed, it is left in the open sun for drying. The most prominent colors used in Bandhani are yellow, red, green, blue, and black.
Bandhani is genuinely an art, and even men are seen wearing Bandhani turbans designed with motifs. The primary market is in Gujarat and is sold all over India as the demand for Bandhani sarees increases. Sarees with Leheriya designs are usually worn for daytime rituals, whereas Gharchola lehengas & sarees are worn for events at night.