Bandhej: De-Coding The Traditional Tie & Dye Art Of Rajasthan

Bandhej sarees are extremely popular today. The subtle charm, beautiful colors, and beauty of the patterns make them the first choice among women from all around the world. If you are among those who love and admire Bandhej sarees, then this blog will help you to know more about the type, the art, how is it formed so that while you look at the beautiful Bandhani next time you’ll remember the exquisite details of our traditional heritage.

 The Tale Of Beautiful Bandhej

Bandhej is also known as “Bandhani” or “ Bandhini”. The word 'Bandhani' originates from the Sanskrit word "Bandh" and from the Hindi word "Bandhan" which means tying. It also dates back to the Indus valley civilization. The famous 6th century Ajanta Cave paintings feature Bandhini dotted patterned garments on the walls. 

This ancient Bandhani art is a technique of tie and dye and as the name suggests it majorly involves two stages. First, the sections of the fabric are tied or sewn into patterns. Second, the tied clothes are dunked into the huge vats of colors. 

However, the process of making a Bandhej garment is very detailed and extensive and cannot be comprised into two stages. 

The oldest craft of decorating garments Bandhej is worked through the labor of many artisans, who work together to create a sari/suit material that can have 10,000 to 100,000 tied knots or more. The painstakingly tied knots are then opened to reveal beautiful designer patterns and colors. This tradition of Bandhini continues to thrive even today and enrich the textile heritage of India.

 As these are famously made by Rajasthani craftsmen, The Khatri community in Gujarat too are famously known to produce the finest quality of Bandhini in India. It can take several days to even months to make one Bandhini sari depending upon the intricacy of the design. 

The fabric is tied at several points in the making and is produced in a variety of patterns like Chandrakala, Bavan Baug, Shikari, Khombi, Chandrokhani, Mothra etcetera.

As it is purely a labor-intensive process the tied and dyed results turns always different, making it the concept of a Bandhani completely original and one of a kind.

However, they can be typically identified by tear-shaped, bindi, or boond patterns, where a tiny dark center denotes the huge constellations of Bandhej artwork. 

Bandhani: Our knots of crafted tradition 

Traditionally vegetable dyes were used in the process of making Bandhani but nowadays chemical dyes are utilized due to the huge demand in the market. Once the processing of tie & dye is over it results in a variety of motifs including clusters of dots, waves, squares, and strips. One has to pull the folds gently apart for the knots to open. This process is repeated several times if the colors are to be maintained and perfectly combined. Intense skill is required in preventing one color from blending into the other. 

Dancing dots of Bandhej For Women Of Today  

Colors like red, yellow, pink, green, orange, and black are employed during the tie and dye process of Bandhej. As Red color signifies the color of marriage and good luck, these colors are preferably used specifically as the most common color combination put together. The other pairs like green-yellow, red and lovely orange is also very popular for sarees and lehengas. The end color used is generally quite vibrant and bright.

There are a variety of Bandhani sarees available in the market with different colors and beautiful borders. Bandhej fabrics are mostly made from cotton, chiffon, silk fabric. The mirror, pearl, Gota Patti, Zardozi, and shell work are the most popular and peppered throughout the fabric in the making of designer Bandhej sarees and salwar suits. Graciously, it makes them look richer and elegant.  

As the designer works are hugely in trend. Bandhani sarees are adorned with various embellishments like mirror work, zari, embroidery, zardozi, Kundan, sequence, patchwork, pearl work, and more in festivities and celebrations. Even the gorgeous-looking Handmade Sequins Work is very popular on designer Bandhej sarees.

 Lastly, Bandhej art has indeed become a distinct charm among women, and what's best is the fact that Zari Jaipur is known for serving a wide range of Bandhani Suits, Sarees, and Dupatta collections. They are so irresistibly charming that one look at them and you'll just fall in love.

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