What is Bandhani Saree?
Bandhani saree comes from the traditional Indian ‘tie and dye‘ art. In other words, it is a resist-dyeing technique that uses closed threads for tying.
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The name Bandhani comes from the Sanskrit word “Bandha”, in other words, it means “to tie”.
This technique surely produces beautiful, fine circular patterns on Bandhani Saree.
Some people also refer to Bandhani saree as a Bandhej saree. But it is just a variation of the Bandhani word.
Bandhani is an ancient art. The technique involves the tie and dye method that is done by plucking the cloth in tiny bindings resulting in figurative patterns.
Skilled artisans craft Bandhani saree using a hand technique, hence the use of heavy-duty industrial dyes is not much. With time, there was of course, an introduction of man-made chemical dyes in Bandhani making.
The fabric is subject to multiple dips in dyes, drying, washing, and final finishing before it achieves the look of a complete saree.
Firstly, artisans start with the white, unbleached fabric. Secondly, they use thick cords to cast designs, using the Geru mixture (red/ orange earth mixed with water).
Thirdly, these days, artisans use stiff plastic sheets design stencils for making designs, and then they tie Bandhani using thick, closed cotton strings.
The making of bandhani saree was traditionally on Cotton or Muslin fabric. But in time, the fabric spread to Silk, Georgette, and many more.
Finally, the knots are untied and the saree is stretched and restored to its original length marking the completion of a perfect Bandhani saree.
Where It is Made?
Bandhani sarees are indeed culturally famous with the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan.
Refer to the below chart so that you better understand the make type.
|1||Kutch, Gujarat||Delicate Bandhani is made here, especially in Mandvi. |
Families in Mandvi, Anjar, Jamnagar, Bhuj have been in the Bandhani trade, for centuries.
|2||Saurashtra belt, Ahmedabad, Deesa, Morbi, Porbandar, Rajkot, and Surendranagar district||The simpler patterns of Bandhani sarees are made here.|
|3||Bikaner, Sikar district and in the entire Jaipur belt, Rajasthan||The finest Bandhani is produced here.|
|4||Madhya Pradesh and Punjab||They also produce Bandhani but the patterns employed are thicker and bigger. |
The tying methods differ and may be done using kidney-beans, pebbles, coins, etc.
|5||Karachi||The Sindhi Bandhani, a certain style of coarser Bandhani, is quite popular.|
It was revived here, primarily by Khatri immigrants from Kutch (Gujarat).
Block Printing technique of Kutch’s Ajrakh, though created differently, is also culturally associated with Sindhi Bandhani.
|6||Tamil Nadu||Sungudi, the Southern Bandhani, is practiced here. |
It was brought to the towns of Madurai and Chinnalapatti by Sourashtrian Gujaratis centuries ago.
This bandhani also works around the typical ‘dots’ motifs.
Bandhani is certainly a vibrant craft, associated with auspiciousness. It makes use of dark, deep tones, but usually begins with lighter hues. The first dyeing is generally yellow colour.
White and yellow often appear in circular patterns. In fact, Red, maroon, ochre, tangerine, indigo blues, turquoise blue, deep greens are traditional Bandhani colours.
These days, we may also find colours like purple, mustard yellow, beige, pink, and even black.
How to Identify Bandhani Saree?
The patterns formed in Bandhani saree are indeed very interesting. It typically works with small circular patterns i.e. the “dots”.
Artisans make these motifs using skilled tying, using fingernails, iron-nails, etc. The use of distinctive Bandhani dots creates various designs, ranging from floral to animal patterns. Sometimes, it creates small squares or other variations too.
To understand the patterns on a Bandhani saree refer below chart.
|1||Ek Dali or Bund||A single Bandhani dot.|
|2||Trikunt||Patterns or circles appearing in clusters of three.|
|5||Boond||Small dots with darker centers.|
|6||Kodi||Tear-drop shaped dots.|
Artisans make Motifs and designs by repeating Bandhani dots and patterns. These are popular patterns on Bandhani saree.
- Human figures
- Mountain patterns (Dungar Shahi)
- Indian sweetmeats (Laddu Jalebi)
- Waves (Leheriya)
Lehariya saree is another popular Indian saree born from the tie and dye technique. Rajasthan is popular for creating vibrant leheriya sarees.
Bandhani not only creates attractive patterns but also unique designs on sarees.
Women in rural areas earlier used simple Bandhej techniques to give special vibrance to their modest sarees.
Today, finished Bandhani sarees are much in demand in the apparel industry.
Sarees based on Bandhani Fabric
Bandhani saree is an Indian hand-done textiles-art. It is generally carried out by skilled Bandhani artisans, dyers, and workers.
Bandhani saree manufacturing is still small in scale as it relies heavily on time-consuming, traditional techniques, and processes.
It is important to know that sarees made out of this Bandhani are 6.30 metres in length and 1.14 metres (approx) in width.
This 6.30 metres length is further divided as 5.50 metres saree and 0.80 metres as blouse piece and they both are connected through a thin single stitch.
Now, let’s talk more about the Bandhani saree. Sarees made on Bandhani are of different types.
So what are the types that you can find in a Bandhani saree?
Bandhani saree needs a strong base, as the fabric is subject to twisted tying and multiple rounds of dyeing.
This fabric must also be able to hold the stretching, while opening knots. The base fabric must also be absorbent, so as to satisfactorily absorb colours, during the hand-dyeing process.
Traditionally, fine mill-made cotton or muslin was used to create Bandhani. But now the contemporary artisans also work on Gaji silk, Silk-cotton blend, and many more fabrics to make vibrant and colourful Bandhani sarees.
Let’s talk about the latest Bandhani saree types that are trending and look beautiful.
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1. Cotton Silk
Owing to great demand, Bandhani is also available in Silk. However, pure silk runs the risk of tearing. Delicate silk may also lose its texture, given the crushing and crinkling. Silk Bandhani sarees, thus, have to blend with cotton or viscose to create the perfect finished Bandhani saree cotton silk.
2. Gaji Silk
Since pure silk lacks the tensile strength, it requires poly-silk blend to craft Bridal Bandhani saree i.e. Gaji Silk.
This material is thicker, lustrous, and smooth. It can be dyed in vibrant colours. It is strong enough to hold heavy decoration like Zari borders, Zardozi embroidery, etc.
The Gaji silk bandhani saree’s other popular name is Gujarati Gharchola. The groom’s family gift it as the Bridal Saree to the bride.
3. Banarasi Bandhani
This is, of course, Bandhani sarees with Banarasi brocade borders. The making of this saree is generally using high-quality georgette fabric.
Bandhani beautifies with brocade and Banrasi weave borders. Bandhani done on these Banarasi sarees is often extremely fine.
4. Printed Bandhani
This type has a Bandhani print all over the saree. Sometimes, a beautiful brocade border is attached at the edges of the saree.
The making of these sarees is usually basis machine printing but not like the real ‘tie and dye‘ bandhani art.
5. Jhankaar Bandhani
This Bandhani type is very colourful, vibrant, and has indeed extremely fine patterns. On the contrary, Jhankaar Bandhani doesn’t have white coloured dots, as present in other Bandhani styles. For example, a blue Jhankaar Bandhani will have yellow or maroon dots.
6. BorJaal Bandhani
This Bandhani type mostly makes a wedding Bandhani Saree. In fact, this jaal or web is quite popular among Marwari communities.
Sarees with BorJaal Bandhani have a striking interplay of colours and dots, that surely creates an amazing maze.
7. Colour Discharge Bandhani
Typical Bandhani saree creation technique specifically uses darker colours over lighter ones. However, in the colour discharge technique, there is a reverse effect.
Lighter colours are visible over darker colour dot patterns. In fact, in such Bandhanis, you will see deep red dots on a pale yellow or cream base. To achieve this, the discharging of darker hues is a must.
Maintaining this saree is very important, therefore, follow these steps to take care of your bandhani.
- It is a delicate craft that can lose colour and vibrance, if not taken care.
- Bandhani sarees require careful rolled-pressing and finishing before selling. You have to follow a similar process before every wear.
- Use only steam iron to iron these sarees.
- Unless you only dry clean this saree, it will lose its colour.
- You have to attach a quality saree fall as these are delicate sarees.
Bandhani sarees are one of the popular Gujarati sarees which are not only beautiful but also vibrant. These are very light and comfortable. As a result, this makes them the perfect choice for festivals. These sarees would look beautiful when draped in the Gujarati way.
People consider Bandhani sarees very auspicious, especially in Rajasthan and Gujarat. As a result, from weddings to births, Bandhani saree finds a sacred association everywhere. Legends have it that wearing Bandhani Sarees invites good luck.
Bandhani sarees hold a remarkable position in the Indian apparel industry. and for this reason, it is famous all over the globe. A simplistic technique that requires greatly skilled artisans and hours of work thus result in the breathtakingly beautiful Bandhani saree.
While our favourite type is the “Gaji Silk”, we would love to know which type of Bandhani saree did you like the most. Therefore, tell us by leaving a comment below.
And let me tell you that Bandhani sarees are not only immortal but also dynamic sarees that heightens the vibe of the wearer and the vibe around.
If the Bandhani saree interests you then the best place to check out Bandhani Saree collection is Hindmata Market, Dadar. You will surely find a lot of amazing varieties of Bandhani Saree here. A good quality bandhani saree price starts from Rs 2,000 and above.
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Also, don’t forget to check out cool Bandhani Saree online on the below online stores as well.
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