Bandhani- Binding art and tradition together



Among other things, India’s culture is defined by its customs, languages, cuisines, music and folk art. Today, let’s talk about a form of art that has been practised by people since ages and passed on from one generation to the other. It is usually created by hand using indigenous methods typically depicting traditional culture.


Today we touch upon ‘Bandhani’, an ancestral type of dying process practised mainly in the state of Gujarat. The term, ‘Bandhaní’ derives its name from the Hindi word, ‘bandhan’ which means tying up. The process is pretty simple – the material is knotted or tied up with string by hand, in various places at regular intervals before being dunked into a drum of colour. The impermeable zone thus creates the desired motif. The main colours used in Bandhani are yellow, red, green and black. Bandhani work, after the processing is over, results in a variety of symbols including, dots, squares, waves and strips.


A meter length of Bandhani cloth can have millions of tiny knots known as “Bheendi” in local language. These knots form a design once opened after being dyed in bright colours. Jamnagar, a city in Gujarat is very famous for Bandhani work. In fact, even today Bandhani is made using ancient block printing techniques and handmade colours in Jamnagar.


You can try your own variation of creating Bandhani, with a little help from Camlin Fabric Colours. Just tie a plain coloured cloth in various places and dip it in a tub of a colour you like. Though, not original, it will be very close to owning a piece of history, made all by you!


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