Bandhani sarees are popular for their vibrant colors and beautiful designs. The word "Bandhani" comes from the Hindi word "Bandhan" which means tying. Bandhani work is mostly done in the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat.
Every Bandhani saree goes through a rather difficult and time-consuming process. First the cloth is tied at several places. This is done by holding up a small part of the cloth and tying it up several times with a thread. It is done so that when the saree is dyed, the tied portion stays as before. A Bandhai saree is tied at around a hundred places. The tying up is done keeping in mind a design. The cloth is then dipped into dye for a five to ten minutes. It is then taken out and dried. If more colors or an elaborate design is to be made, the saree is then tied again according to the design to be formed and then dipped into a different colored dye.
Red, black, pink, yellow and green are mostly used in Bandhani sarees. All the colors used are bright and contrasting with each other. After all, Rajasthan is famous for its vibrant colors. Nowadays, as pastel shades are growing popular, you will find even pastel shades on Bandhani work. The trend has caught Bandhani in its grip too!
You can get various designs in Bandhani like squares, stripes, dots, waves, tear-shaped dots etc. Also, popular designs such as Lehriya, Ekdali, Shikari and Mothda are also made by the process of tie and dye. You can even find flowers, bells, plant shapes, mountain patterns in tie and dye.
There are various tie and dye centers in Rajasthan and Gujarat. In Rajasthan, Jaipur, Barmer, Pali, Sikar, Udaipur, Bikaner, Nathdwara and Jodhpur are famous for their high-quality Bandhanis. Jamnagar in Gujarat is famous for its Bandhani. Also, Kutch, Ahemdabad, Mandvi and Bhuj also produce finest Bandhani works.
These are various types of cloths on which Bandhani work is done like silk, cotton, muslin, handloom, voile etc. For dying the cloth, vegetables dyes or synthetic dyes are used. Embroidery work is further done on the Bandhani to give it a decorative look. You will also find zari work, gotta etc. For weddings, silver and gold embroidery is done on the Bandhani, giving it a rich look.
Leheriya (pattern of the waves) is another popular design of Rajasthan. In Leheriya, only two colors are used. These two colors are used alternatively. Wave like stripes are formed by using these two colors. Leheriya is worn throughout India, especially in Northern India.
Traditionally, only bright colors were used for Leheriya, but Leheriya is catching up with fashion. Now, you will find pastel and English shades in it too.