Tie and Dye Craft of Rajasthan

Origin: The vibrant craft of tie and dye textile work of Rajasthan dates back to 5000 years. Its origin is layered with colours and mysteries. Legend has it, that the birth of this colourful craft is related to the time when our ancestors discovered extracting hues from varied parts of plants, leaves, flowers then this was born. 

Some historians believe that this craft was established in Jaipur as leheriya. While other craft lovers are of the opinion that this intricate technique was a part of Muslim Khatris caravan when they travelled to Rajasthan from Sindh. 

Bandhej and Leheria are two discrete methods of tie and dye that have gained ample admiration. Bandhej, also known as ‘Bandhani’ or ‘Bandhni’ is an extremely sophisticated and intricate technique of using a combination of dyes to decorate cloth. 

Present Day: Muslim Khatris are still the torchbearers of tie and dye craft. Till date, they are the largest community engaged in this business. 

Tourist flood the Rajasthani market looking for a spectrum of combinations in tie and dye. Jodhpur and Sikar are home to the best pieces of this art. Other places such as Udaipur, Jaipur, Pali, Barmer are also gaining popularity with their tie and dye work. 
Today, this work expresses itself in copious fabrics such as cotton, silk, chiffon, georgette, satin, etc. The tribal women still wear odhnis self-made using this technique.

Procedure: To initiate this traditional and time – consuming method, tightly tie the cloth and both ends. Then, using temporary colours outline the area to be dyed. Now, place a thin plastic sheet with holes over the cloth. Following this, use colours make an imprint on the cloth.  The artisan then pulls each and every area of holes to tie a knot. 

Post tying knots, any extra imprints on the cloth are washed off.  It is then dipped for five minutes in napthol. Once again, the cloth is dyed in a light colour for approximately two minutes. Next step is to rinse, dry and tie the cloth so that it is ready to be dipped in a dark tint for around four hours. After this, it is finally washed and dried. Lastly, the folds are opened gently. 

Bring Home Tie and Dye Craft of Rajasthan:  Travel to Rajasthan and stop buy at the shops of Jodhpur, Sikar, Udaipur, Jaipur, Pali, Barmer for the most exquisite pieces of tie and dye fabric. 

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