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Khatri Suleman

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Bhadli, Ta. Nakhatrana, Kutch 370675

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Bandhani, from Gujarat represent the craft of tie and dye. With the ancient art being practiced in many places in Gujarat, each region has its own special design and colour schemes. 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 absorption 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 colour which is light. The tied areas retain their original colour. This is repeated throughout the fabric. During the second dye process the areas that need to retain the colour of the first dye are securely tied for resistance 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 tiedyed, often in figurative patterns arranged in square compartments created by brocade or gold or silver embroidery. Another traditional design is the 'Bawan Bagh' that is fifty two blocks. Each of the blocks has an unique design, with no design being repeated on the fabric. Bandhani odhnis, household linen, ties, scarves and lampshades are popular items.