With the fervor of Navratri around, it’s time to look for the vibrant bandhini saree you bought last summer. The traditional art of bandhej in its effervescent style enlivens the whole spirit of festivity and merrymaking.

The history of Bandhini art can be traced back to Jamnagar in Gujarat, a city found almost 500 years ago. This city has with time become one of the main centers of bandhini along with Jaipur, Sikar, Bhilwara, Udaipur, Bikaner and Ajmer.

Saree

The term ‘Bandhini’ is derived from the word ‘Bandhan’ that means ‘to tie’. An ancient tie-dye practice started by the Muslim Khatri community of Kutch and passed on from generation to generation.

The fabric used for making Bandhni is malmal (fine muslin), cotton, silk, crepe or georgette. First, the fabric is bleached and then, the dyer marks the set pattern on the cloth by using wooden blocks dipped in geru (a burnt sienna) color mixed with water. Two different set of clothes are then tied by the artisans, one which is meant for dying and other which stays natural.

Knots are placed in clusters each with a different name, for example, a single dot is called Ekdali, ‘three knots’ are termed as ‘Trikunti’ & four knots are titled as Chaubundi. Such clusters are worked intricately into patterns such as Shikargah (mountain‐like), Jaaldar (web‐like), Beldaar (vine‐like) etc.


days, dyes were extracted from roots, flowers, leaves, and berries.But, now, synthetic dyes are used which are permanent, quick-setting and safe.

Different colors convey different meanings. While red represents a bride or newly married girl, a yellow background personifies a lady who just stepped into motherhood.

Besides saree, bandhini craft also appears on salwar kameez, kurtis and lehengas.