Bandhani - Printing

Bandhani, as the craft of tie and dye is called, is a complicated and sophisticated method of decorating cloth by manipulating the dyes.
Each region has its own special design and colour schemes, the ancient art being practised in many places in Gujarat. The bandhanis of Jamnagar and Bhuj are distinctive in design, craftsmanship and ornamentation. The dyer first bleaches material like cotton, silk, georgette, crepe or satin to prepare it for the absorbtion of the dyes. He then folds the cloth two or four-fold and prints the designs in geru (red clay) mixed with water. He ties a thin thread on the lines of the printed design after raising a small part of the fabric. The textile is then dipped in the first light colour. The tied areas retain their original colour. This is repeated throughout the fabric. During the second dye proces the areas that need to retain the colour of the first dye is securely tied for resist and the cloth is then dipped in a deeper colour. The process may be repeated for several colours. When the fabric is ready, it is washed to remove the excess dye, but the ties are not opened till the buyer wishes it. When opened, the cloth remains evenly embossed at the tie-dots and generally shrunken due to tight tying. A special fabric for a bride's marriage called gharchola is tie-dyed often in figurative patterns arranged in square compartments created by brocade or gold or silver embroidery. Bandhani odhnis, household linen, ties, scarves and lampshades are popular items.