Bandhani is a type of tie-dye textile that is mainly seen in the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat. It is believed to be a 5000 year old art form and was started by the Khatri Community of Kutch. A form of Bandhani can also be traced to Tamil Nadu where it is known as ‘Sungudi.’ Traditional Bandhani is a highly skilled process that involves dyeing the fabric post tying several points on the fabric tightly with a thread.
These tiny bindings in turn create a figurative design. Primary colours used in this technique are red, blue, green, yellow and black. The colours used are natural and the dyeing of the fabrics is done by hand. The colours used also signify different meanings, such as red that brings good luck to a newly wed’s life. In an effort to innovate, today, traditional Bandhani artists have also started incorporating a Japanese form of tie-dye technique known as Shibori. This technique dates back to 8th Century and the cloth dyed using the Shibori technique is first bound, stitched, folded, twisted or compressed to create the desired design. In this technique not only the design, but the characteristics of the cloth to be dyed also plays an important role.