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Complex, Calculated And Catchy Patterns Of The Bandhini Tie & Dye Saree
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Bandhani, Bandhni or Bandhej is a Tie-Dye process of weaving and dyeing. The base fabric is first tied at several points by threads and then the threads are dyed. The tying manner decides the resulting pattern, which could be Leheriya, Mothra, Ekdali or Shikari. Patterns could be dots, strips, waves or squares.
Leheria comes from the word Leher meaning wave, since the tie and dye process applied to white fabrics, results in brightly coloured complex wave or Leher designs. Leheria work is done on silk or cotton fabric and on long and broad canvases like turbans and sarees.
The process involves rolling the fabric and tying resists at various spots on the cloth rolled diagonally from one corner to the opposite selvage. Selvage is the self finished edges in a fabric as a result of looping back the thread from the weft (perpendicular thread to the waft threads) at the end of each row length of the fabric that prevents the fabric from unravelling or fraying.
This rolled fabric is then dyed according to the usual tie and dye process in bright colours. When the fabric is unfolded after dyeing, it leaves a lot of stripes or other shapes at intervals across the fabric in a design. Several tie and dye processes are undergone if required, to create a myriad of colourful stripes across the fabric length. Indigo is used in the last few stages of the process. The appeal lies in the way the folding and tying of resists is manipulated before dyeing to create colourful striking outcomes of extraordinary designs.
Mothara is a special ‘lentil design’, popular and achieved by the re-rolling of the unfolded first stage in the opposite direction and the resist tied at the diagonal end and repeating the dye process. The resulting checkered design has un-dyed areas at regular intervals which are the size of a lentil.
Dark Colours, natural or artificial, are used for dyeing the ‘Bandhani’. Applied colours are red, green, blue, black or yellow with the background generally being red or black.
The Khatri community of Kutch, Gujarat is known to excel in this art. Tying thousands of miniscule knots on the fabric, dyeing them and then opening them to spread and form exquisite designs shows their superlative skill.
Bhuj and Mandvi are places in Kutch, renowned in India for their fine Bandhani art. Saurashtra, in Gujarat, is also known for its Bandhani work, different from that of the Kutch region.
Neighbouring Rajasthan again has its own style of Bandhani, unique to its region. Designs and colours differ, with significance attached to certain colours. Red conveys a newly married bride, yellow conveys that the wearer has recently become a mother, are typical examples.
Bandhani sarees are a huge draw domestically and has a growing number of international buyers. Bandhani Sarees are widely appreciated for the ethnic excellence and bought for their unique appeal.
Designer Bandhani Saris with colourful prints and exquisite embroidery are extremely stunning. Recent fashion finds popularity with single-colour sarees or those with contrasting colours on the body and the border.
Popular varieties observed are the exclusive Lehriya Bandhej sarees with Gota embroidery and patch border. These sarees find preference as daily casual, college or corporate wear.
The Bandhani Crepe Silk Sari having Jaipuri prints, with tinsel printing on them and border embroidered with kundans and sequins, is a grand affair. It is but a natural preference, for weddings, bridal attire and traditional functions.
Bandhani Sarees come in pleasing prints with current designs, matching borders and beautiful Bandhani patterns. They are a feast for the eyes and could serve as an anniversary gift, a wedding present or a collector’s item.
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