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Bandhej

Bandhani or Bandhej is a type of tie-dye textile decorated by plucking the cloth with the fingernails into many tiny bindings that form a figurative design. The term bandhani is derived from the Sanskritverbal root bandh ("to bind, to tie"). Today most Bandhini making centers are situated in Gujarat, Rajasthan, SindhPunjab region and in Tamil Nadu where it is known as Sungudi. Earliest evidence of Bandhani dates back to Indus Valley Civilization where dyeing was done as early as 4000 B.C. The earliest example of the most pervasive type of Bandhani dots can be seen in the 6th century paintings depicting the life of Buddha found on the wall of Cave 1 at Ajanta. Bandhani is also known as Bandhej Saree, Bandhni, Piliya, and Chungidi in Tamil and regional dialects. Other tying techniques include Mothra, Ekdali and Shikari depending on the manner in which the cloth is tied. The final products are known with various names including Khombi, Ghar Chola, Patori and Chandrokhani

The art of Bandhana is a highly skilled process. The technique involves dyeing a fabric which is tied tightly with a thread at several points, thus producing a variety of patterns like Chandrakala, Bavan Baug, Shikari etcetera; depending on the manner in which the cloth is tied. The main colour used in Bandhana are yellow, red, blue, green and black.

The main colours used in Bandhana are natural. As Bandhani is a tie and dye process, dying is done by hand and hence best colours and combinations are possible in Bandhanis.

The Bandhani work has been exclusively carried out by the Khatri community of Kutchh and Saurashtra. A meter length of cloth can have thousands of tiny knots known as 'Bheendi' in the local language ('Gujarati'). These knots form a design once opened after dyeing in bright colours. Traditionally, the final products can be classified into 'khombhi', 'Ghar Chola', 'Chandrakhani', 'Shikari', 'Chowkidaar', 'Ambadaal' and other categories.

Ahmedabad in India is known for Bandhanis. Bandhani work is also done in Rajasthan state but having different types of colours and designs than the Kutch and Saurashtra of Gujarat. Establishments of varying sizes in the entire Kutch belt in Gujarat produce many varieties of Bandhani. This Bandhani style is called as the Kutchi Bandhani, which is also practised in the Saurasthra region of Gujarat. Bandhani tying is often a family trade, and the women of these families work at home to tie patterns. Pethapur, Mandavi, Bhuj, Anjar, Jetpur, Jamnagar, Rajkot, are some of the main towns in Gujarat, where Bandhani is created. The city of Bhuj, located in the Gulf of Kutch, in Gujarat is well known for its red Bandhani. Dyeing process of Bandhani is carried out extensively in this city, as the water of this area is known to give a particular brightness to colors, specifically reds and maroons.

In Bandhani, different colours convey different meanings. People believe that wearing Red brings good luck to a newly wed's life

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