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Bandhani work is a type of resist dyeing technique practised mainly in the Gujarat in India. The word bandhani is derived from a Hindi word Bandhana which means tying up. The Malay-Indonesian name for BANDHANI is 'Plangi'. In Japan it is called as Shibori

Major Places
The major places where bandhani is done with detailed procedure are-

Saurashtra Bhuj Jamnagar Ahmedabad Rajkot

The largest bandhani workshops are in Saurashtra, especially at Jamnagar, though bandhani is also made at Porbandar, Morvi, Rajkot, and at Surendranagar. Simpler bandhani is made around Ahmedabad at Pethapur and at Deesa, in north Gujarat.


Major centers of Bandhej

Traditionally practiced by Khatri artisans though now other communities are also adapting the profession. The meticulous process of tie and dye though worn by diverse community is created mainly by the Khatri artisans. The chitarnar or the artist draws the patterns on the fabric, the bandnari or knotter pinches and ties the dots and the Ranganaar or dyer who finally dyes the textile piece. Textiles where more than three to four colors are used, the lightest hue is dyed followed by tying and thereafter dyeing it in brighter color.

Traditional Trivia
Bandhani is one of the oldest forms of surfacial embellishment done on textiles. Oldest reference of its antiquity goes back to the Jain Manuscripts followed by miniatures in which noble people have been depicted in clothing adorned with tiny dots. Women from both Hindu and Muslim communities in western India and Sindh consider bandhani textiles as a significant form of attire and constitutes as a vital part of their wedding trousseau. Bandhani considered as symbol of girlhood, love and marital happiness and has been an auspicious and significant part of wedding ensembles.

Playful patterns of Rasleela to flamboyant depiction of flower gardens, the themes explored and created by the artisans reflected social themes, nature, rituals and many other inspirations. Simple dots identified as bindi or bundi are created with variations in form of circles which are called laddu and squares known as dabbi or box. Tear-shaped dots are also created by stitch resist technique. These tiny dots are meticulously composed to form patterns of desire exuding elegance, style and beauty on varied range of fabrics

Animals like elephant, peacock Geometric forms Ladies dancing or playing instrument Lotus flower called as kanwal phool and leafy patterns as amba dal Rasmandala done on silk Barah bagh- 12 borders Bavan bagh- 52 gardens are done in gharcholu sarees

Varied range of patterns illustrated by white or yellow dots, composed on bright deep red and black background red, maroon, pink, yellow, ochre, orange, green, mauve, violet, sky blue, indigo, black, white and many-many more hues


Fabrics used are Silk (mainly gajji silk which is a finely woven silk fabric)Cotton, malmal, Muslin Natural dyes or chemical dyes Other various synthetic fibres are also used now-a-days Synthetic threads ard used for tying






The design, which is to be worked on, is printed on the fabric by using a wooden block and washable colors. The cloth is folded into 4 to 6 layers before printing the design.


The printed design which is tied in the form of small dots. So that the dye does not penetrate through the tied area. This process is called Bandhai or Safedi Bhandhana.


The tied fabric is then dyed in the ground or base colour. And after dyeing these knots are cut open to reveal the dots.


The green spots on this piece have been added separately by dabbing with a dye-soaked pad.




Saffron Maroon Green Khakhi Yellow Blue

keshu or Harsingar flower Boiling madder wood and alum Indigo + Turmeric Boiling Khakra leaves Boiling pomegranate in water + (turmeric, alum and caustic soda) Indigo


Some of the common designs in bandhej are: 1.Doongarshai (hill shaped) 2.Khat-ka-Laharia (single striped) 3.Laddoo-Jalebi (big circle in the center and small circle on the side) 4.Pomcha (yellow chunari)



TYPES OF LAHARIA SALAIDAR: The is rolled from one corner to form a striped pattern is called salaidar. GANDADAR: If the fabric is folded like a fan to produce a zig zag patttern it is called as Gangadar. MOTHRA: If the cloth is untied and re-rolled from the opposite diagonal a checked effect results called Mothra.



Raja Chattar Singh of Kota riding in procession. The attendants wore Lahariya Turbans, and the women a variety of tiedyed odhnis (head covers).

Maharaja Gaj Singh I of Jodhpur wearing a Lahariya Turban.

Maharao Umed Singh of Kota wearing a Lahariya turban.

The tear-shaped, (kodi) motifs are formed by stitch resist and in the case of the plate blue, localized painting.

Odhni. This beautiful head-cover, called a chorsa in the acquisition records, was acquired in 1867 for Rs. 40 and a contemporary note states that it is valued on account of the time and labor bestowed on it in the dyeing. It is made up of two identical pieces sewn together.


Vat dyes: Vat dyes are ancient dyes based on the original natural dye, indigo. Cotton , as well as other fibers, can be dyed with vat dyes. It can be done whenever a solid or even shade, i.e., the same color over the entire garment, is wanted. It can be done using almost any dye, including fiber reactive dye, direct dye, acid dye, etc. Direct dyes: Also known as hot water dyes, direct dyes can be used with hot water and require no binding or exhausting agents. They are convenient but lack in color fastness and wash fastness. They are used on cotton, silk and nylon. The colors of direct dyes are duller than those provided by reactive dyes. They can be found in powder form as well as in the form of a liquid concentrate.

Napthol dyes: These are two sets of chemicals which, upon reaction, produce a third chemical, essentially colorful in nature. The fabric is dyed with one and later printed with the other. The chemical reaction produces a third color. Drawback of this process is that there are just a few chemicals available which produce colors upon reaction. Procion dyes: Procion fiber reactive dyes are specially formulated for cellulose fibers like cotton, linen and rayon. They also work well on silk. They are considered 'cold water'" dyes As for the auxiliary chemicals, all you need is salt and soda ash. Procion fiber reactive dyes can also be used on protein fibers but different auxiliaries are needed and the dye bath must be simmered

Pre-treatment of the fabric: The fabric is washed or bleached to prepare it for absorbing the dyes Tying the washed fabric: The cloth after pre treatment are sent to women who are highly involved in tying the design. They lift up small portion of the fabric and tightly tie a thread around it. Dying the tied fabric: In this process,tied fabrics are first diped in light color and to the darker colour according to the requirement colors

Small sections of fabric are tied with thread to create designs and motifs.

It takes many hours to tie the most intricate patterns.

Often more ties are added to the fabric before it is dyed for a second or third time.

Each tie keeps the fabric that is inside the thread from changing to a new colour.

When the ties are removed the you can see where the dye could not reach the fabric.

A weak dye solution is mixed to mark out complex patterns.

Special metal frames are used to print out the tying guides.

The patterns are marked on the fabric.

The gridlines will be used to show where to put the ties.

This is a design for a neckline on a kurta.

Tying the fabric on the marks with fine thread.

Tied and ready to dye.

Measuring the dye for the fabric.

Mixing the dye in water and heating to make the dye bath.

The dye bath ready to add the fabric.

Dip dyeing the fabric in one colour.

The first colour is ready.

The dyed fabric is carefully rinsed ready for the second colour.

Tying the fabric and binding with polythene to resist the second dye.

Dip dyeing the fabric in the second colour.

After the second dyeing the fabric it is rinsed in cold water.

The ties are not removed until the fabric is sold, to show that it is genuine bandhani.

Application of small dots according to the requirements

BANDHANI SAREES: Panetaris a white sari with a red bandhani border The Gharchola sari: It is a traditionally sari woven for a Gujurati bride's wedding and is traditionally bought for her by her bridegroom. The Gharchola generally has a square of gold thread, with a small ethnic motif or an auspicious symbol like a lotus or a peacock embroidered in gold in the center. Most Gharcholas have traditional patterns such as "bavan bagh" or Fifty-Two Gardens, "Ras Leela" or the depiction of Lord Krishna dancing with his Gopis, etc. Gharcholas are made with the traditional, fine variety of cotton worn by Gujarati brides for their wedding ceremonies and are available with real zari work and tested artificial zari work. It is exclusively covered during the ceremony, while she wears under the traditional white silk saree called Panetar' with a red border.

Gharchola sarees

Gharchola sari border

Bandhani Woollen shawls are tie - dyed work which are presented by the khatris and worn by Rabari women. Suhagadi - yellow dots on chocolate brown is worn after marriage and before a woman first born, while the satbanteli red dots on black is worn after her first child. The bagida pattern and colour combination is traditionally worn only by harijan women. The common design in Bandhani is chains of grains represented by dots on the body called the dana pattern. The pallu, which is tucked inside known as the utaru pallu, starts with a red background after which there is a continuous repeat of semicircle motifs. The pallu that goes over the head called chavdhan pallu has two additional bands, one has the repeat of semi circle, but the other has dancing figures. The borders have only zig zags. When the chunari body is red the borders and pallus are indigo blue and vice-versa. Another bandhani product is large - sized wrap called pillya used by women as an upper garment. Its ground colour is red which is fully filled with motifs such as leaves, flowers and dolls in the form of two big circles side by side.

The Muslim Khatri odhanis all are simple basic design of a central medallion with four smalller ones around it.
Within this basic scheme , Intricate and finely knotted patterns usually in a narrow colour scheme of black and red given the name as Chandrokhani or like the Moon.

Yellow chunari with bandhani designs from 16th Century is called as Pomcha. Veer Bhet Bhat: (Brothers gift pattern) Traditional Bandhani Saree gifted by brother to the sister during raksha bandhan.

Bandhani turban

Bandhani shawl

Bandhani sari

Bandhani bed spreads

Bandhani suit

Bandhani scarves

Bandhani dupatta

Bandhani is being sold all over India and the demand has increased over the past few decades. Sales goes up during the festive and wedding seasons in India. The bulk of the market is within the main market of 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. Today, designers are also using Bandhani fabric for contemporary clothing and it is being used to represent India in the international circuit. New colors and patterns are being used to cater to a wider market, though traditional red, yellow and pink still continue to be the alltime favourites.


Today BANDHANI fabric runs the risk of losing its identity as the name is being attached to low quality products. The government plans to combat that by attaching a geographical indication (GI) tag to the real thing. "The union ministry of textiles in consultation with state governments prepared a list of 5,000 textile items and under the initiative of the United Nations the Bandhani saris and Kutchi shawls are included for GI registration. GI refers to a country or a place that conveys an assurance of quality, antiquity and distinctiveness. To save the Bandhani tradition, the commerce ministry had recommended to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to cover Bandhani in the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and GI.

A Jain bride in a printed imitation Gharcolu sari: Jamnagar.



The name sungri, shungri or sungudi is given to the cotton tie dyed fabrics in south India and by extension to other type of sari, cotton or silk with all over dotted pattern, even if the dots are woven rather than dyed.


The only significant center of bandhani work in south India is Madhurai, where immigrants from Saurashtra in Gujarat referred to collectively known as Patnulkarar (from tamil pat, silkand nul, thread) still make tie dyed sarees for the local market.


The tie-dyed textiles were used in south India for turbans, saris and womens head covers. The cyclopidia of India (1871) states that head cloth, rumal are manufactured in Madhurai districts. They are always in square with lace borders and are always red colour, printed with white spots. They are worn by the hindus as turbans. The south Indian tie-dyed designs are simple in comparison to the intricacies of the gujrati pieces but they are delicately worked on fine light muslin.





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Steps to do tie & dye (Bandhani)

Pre-Treatment of Fabric. Wash the fabric to remove the dirt,oil stains,starch etc. Take the weight of the fabric. Take direct dyes based on the shade example 2% or 3% of the weight of the fabric. Take soda ash as per the requirement. Take water in the ratio I:20. Soaping Repeat the process for the second colour.