Bandhani or Tie and Dye
As the name suggests, this method involves two stages: tying sections of a length of cloth (silk or cotton) and then dunking it into vats of color. The rainbow-tinged turbans of the
Rajputs and the odhnis of their women are shaded by this method of resist dyeing. Your trip to
Jaipur won't be complete without a trip to the nearby towns of Bagru and
Sanganer, where you can observe the Chhipa community of dyers at work.
The main colors used in Bandhani are yellow, green, red and black. It is essentially a household craft supervised by the head of the family. The fabric is skillfully knotted by the women, while the portfolio of dyeing rests with the men.
The women often grow a long nail on the little finger of the left hand, or wear a ring with a little blunt spike on it, with which they push the cloth upwards to form a tiny
peak. The Jaipur dyer rarely works with more than two dye baths while the additional colors are spot dyed, which makes the process much easier.
Thereafter, the fabric opens out into amazing designs in kaleidoscopic colors: dots, circles, squares, waves and stripes. The
laheriya or the ripple effect is achieved by a variation of this technique. Lengths of permeable muslin are rolled diagonally from one corner to the opposite, bound tightly at intervals and then dyed.
The ties are then undone and the process repeated by diagonally rolling the adjacent corner toward the opposite and repeating the process. Both Jaipur and Jodhpur are major
centres of laheriya. Jaipur in particular, thanks to its status as the state capital, has girt its loins to meet the wide demands of both the domestic and export markets.