My Bandhani Saree: Beautiful Art of Tie & Dye

Bandhani, one of the oldest known methods of tie-dyeing, is still widely practiced in western India today. The fabric is made by pinching very small portions of cloth and tying them by plucking the cloth with the fingernails into many tiny bindings that form a figurative design to form an intricate pattern of dots. The cloth is then placed into different dye vats to form bright and beautiful colors.

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The term bandhani is derived from the Sanskrit word banda (“to tie”).

Today most Bandhini making centers are situatied in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Sindh, Punjab region and in Tamil Nadu where it’s known as Sungudi.

Bandhani is also known as Bandhej, Bandhni, Piliya, and Chungidi in Tamil as per the regional delicate. Leheria or leheriya derives from the word lahar, meaning wave is also another unique form of tie dye technique used in Rajasthan. Other tying techniques include Mothra, Ekdali and Shikari depending on the manner in which the cloth is tied.

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Overview

The term `Bandhani` is derived from the word `Bandhan` that means tying up. The art of Bandhani 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 colours used in Bandhani are yellow, red, blue, green and black.

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The main colours used in Bandhani 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’ etc.

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Bandhani work is also done in Rajasthan state but having different types of colours and designs than the Kutch and Saurashtra of Gujarat. In Bandhani, different colours convey different meanings. People believe that wearing Red brings good luck to a newly wed’s life.

Places in Rajasthan like Jaipur, Sikar, Bhilwara, Udaipur, Bikaner, Ajmer, and Jamnagar in Gurjarat are the well known centres producing odhnis, sarees and turbans in Bandhani. Different communities in Rajasthan have for ages followed the tradition on tying turbans with different patterns of bandhani on their heads. These were used to identify which community the person belonged to.

History

Earliest evidence of Bandhani dates back to Indus Valley Civilization suggests that 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 I at Ajanta. This art finds its mentions in the Alexander the great time texts about the beautiful printed cottons of India. As per evidences in Historical Texts, the first Bandhani saree was worn at the time of Bana Bhatt`s Harshacharita in a royal marriage. It was believed that wearing a Bandhani saree can bring good future to a bride. Ajanta walls stand for the evidences of these Bandhani sarees.

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My holiest saree from the Ghats of Benaras

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Banarasi Saree

A Banarasi saree, often part of an Indian bride’s trousseau is mostly worn by Indian women on important occasions such as when attending a wedding and are expected to be complemented by the woman’s best jewelry. Made in Varanasi, a city which is also called Benares or Banaras. They are among the finest sarees in India and are known for their gold and silver brocade or zari, fine silk and opulent embroidery, decorated with intricate design, and, because of these engravings, are relatively heavy.

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The brocade weaving centers of India developed in and around the capitals of kingdoms or holy cities because of the demand for expensive fabrics by the royal families and temples. During the Mughal period, around 14th century, weaving of brocades with intricate designs using gold and silver threads became the specialty of Banaras. With the migration of silk weavers from Gujarat during the famine of 1603, it is likely that silk brocade weaving started in Banaras in the seventeenth century and developed in excellence during the 18th and 19th century.

Their special characteristics are Mughal inspired designs such as intricate intertwining floral and foliate motifs, kalga and bel, a string of upright leaves called jhallar at the outer, edge of border is a characteristic of these sarees. Other features are gold work, compact weaving, figures with small details, metallic visual effects, pallus, jal (a net like pattern), and mina work. The exquisite latifa (beautiful) buti was the outcome of the fusion of Persian and Indian designs. Brocades produced at the royal workshops of other well-known Muslim centers in Syria, Egypt, Turkey and Persia was also exported to India.

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Depending on the intricacy of its designs and patterns, a saree can take from 15 days to a month and sometimes up to six months to complete. The traditional Banarasi saree is done with lot of hard work and skillful work using the silk. The saree making is a cottage industry for about 1.2 million people associated directly or indirectly with the hand loom silk industry of the region around Varanasi encompassing Gorakhpur, Chandauli, Bhadohi, Jaunpur and Azamgarh districts.

As per the GI certificate, Banarasi products fall under four classes (23–26), namely silk brocades, textile goods, silk saree, dress material and silk embroidery. GI is an intellectual property right, which identifies a good as originating in a certain region where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the product is essentially attributable to its geographical origin.

There are four main varieties of Banarasi saree, which includes pure silk (Katan), Organza (Kora) with Zari and silk; Georgette, and Shattir, and according to design process, they are divided into categories like, Jangla, Tanchoi, Vaskat, Cutwork, Tissue and Butidar.

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Since a large number of silk dyeing units in the trade use chemical dyes, which cause pollution in the Ganges River, a move is on to shift to natural dyes. Vegetable dyes like Kusum (Safflower, Carthamus tinctorium) are used for yellow, red, puce, light buff and orange, Kamila (Mallotus Philipinensis) and akalbar (Datiscus cannabina) are used with indigo to fix yellow. Kattha (Catechu) served for black along with indigo. Indigo mixed with a yellow dye is used for dark green, light green, grass green, light yellow wish green, haldi (turmeric), to produce various shades in yellow. Indigo mixed with a reel and a yellow dye is used for hetiotrope (Kasni). Khaki (grey) is produced from harra (myro balans and kasis – green vitriol or sulphate of iron). Lac is used in various shades of real.

Handloom & Handcrafted Textiles: India’s Gift to the Humanity – from Traditions to Fashion Trends

Namaste & Hello friends of Luxurionworld,

India is home to a plethora of handlooms, weaves and handicrafts. While these are arts and crafts that are always in danger of succumbing to modern technology and getting buried under a sea of faster, quicker methods to manufacture; there are several that still survive and thrive. Indian handlooms and spinning wheels contribute largest variation of designs. It has history of development right from fishing nets produced by Kaibartas or fishermen to muslin or baluchari or benarasi.  India gives the finest textiles like Muslins, Brightest textile like Silk, Cheapest textile like Jute and Strongest textile like Ramie.

It’s a different feeling of owning a material that has been carefully put together and woven. We at Luxurionworld are committed to re-invent and re-discover our age old weaving and cloth making processes by reaching out to the grass-root weaver, dyer, and embroiderer

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Natural Fibres:

All our products are made from Natural fibres such as Silk, Cotton or sometimes Wool. Silk is the most luxurious choice. It has a long history in India, where it is considered a symbol of royalty and prestige, a “pure fabric” used for all religious, ritual and ceremonial occasions.

Natural fibres can be classified according to their origin. The vegetable, or cellulose-base such as cotton, flax, and jute; the animal or protein-base fibres include wool, mohair, and silk; an important fibre in the mineral class is asbestos.

Among those in the first group are brocades, bandanna work or tie-and-dye, muslins and painted and printed cottons. Brocades include examples of the famous kincobs (kinkhabs) of Benaras and Ahmedabad, woven in silk and gold and silver thread, on handlooms.

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Tie & Dye:

Tie-dye or bandanna fabrics represent one of the oldest Indian techniques. It consists in tieing tightly with waxed strings portions of a silk or cotton cloth before dipping it into the dye-vat. The strings are afterwards untied, the parts which were produced remaining uncoloured to form the pattern. This technique lends itself most effectively to patterns composed of all-over spots or circles or group of spots. Gujarat and Rajasthan are the main centres of tie-dye work. Here the cloths are known as chunaris and are classified according to the number of knots in the repeat. Crude tie-dye work on coarse calico comes from many parts of India, especially Assam and the Deccan.

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She Has Never Walked beyond her village but her fingers have touched the world

Ikat :

The so called Ikat technique is another kind of tie-dye. In the making of these cloths, the warp and weft threads are dyed separately by the tie-dye process before weaving. Ikats are made in several parts of India; besides the well known Patola. We will discuss all these techniques in much detail later.

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Choosing Traditional Handmade Textiles – A fashionable choice

Natural fibres are at the heart of a fashion movement that goes by various names: sustainable, green, uncycled, ethical, eco-, even eco-environmental.

Young designers now offer “100% carbon neutral” collections that strive for sustainability at every stage of their garments’ life cycle – from production, processing and packaging to transportation, retailing and ultimate disposal. Preferred raw materials include flax and hemp, which can be grown without agrochemicals and produce garments that are durable, recyclable and biodegradable.

Fashion collections also feature organic wool, produced by sheep that have not been exposed to pesticide dips, and “cruelty-free” wild silk, which is harvested – unlike most silk – after the moths have left their cocoons.

 A responsible choice

By choosing natural fibres, you are contributing to the economies of developing countries and help fight hunger and rural poverty

 Social and economic effects of the handcrafted textile industry in India:

In the process of development members of either sex alike took part. There is a saying among Kaibarta community of Bengal “Dugga Katen Soru Suta Mahadev bonen jaal”. Meaning Goddess Durga spins the fine yarn while Lord Mahadev weaves the net, considering each Kaibarta women as Goddess Durga while each man of the community as Lord Mahadev

Textile Industry was one of the earliest industries to come into existence in India and it accounts for more than 30% of the total exports. Indian textile industry is the second largest in the world second only to China. It has vast potential for creating of employment opportunities in the agricultural, industrial, organized and decentralized sectors and rural and urban areas, particularly for women and disadvantaged.  It is constituted of the following segments: Handlooms, silk textiles, woolen textiles, Handicrafts and coir.

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The fate of rural economy and the fortune of major fibre crops and crafts viz. cotton, wool, silk, Handicrafts and Handlooms, which provides employment to millions of farmers and craft persons in rural and semi-urban areas, depends on the textile industry.

The sectors of Handlooms and Handicrafts embody the rich traditional, historical and cultural diversity that distinguishes India from the rest of the world. Besides, women contributing for over 50% of artisans in the country, and a significant mass of weavers/artisans consisting of scheduled castes, schedules tribes and religious minorities, the two sectors also represent the economic lifeline of the most vulnerable sections of our society.

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As an economic activity, the handloom sector occupies a place second only to agriculture in providing livelihood to the people. It is estimated that handloom industry provides employment to 65 lakh workforce directly and indirectly and there are about 35 lakh looms spread all over India.

All our products at the Luxurionworld are authentic Handloom:

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Handcrafted Textiles of India

“Not mass produced but produced by masses” (Mahatma Gandhi)

Hello friends:

Namaste !  & Happy  Gudi Padwa !

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Trust you are wearing the saree you picked up at the Luxurionworld.com and celebrating the festival with your family and friends.

On repeated suggestion from our esteemed customers & friends, we are delighted to start our very own blog where we will try to take you through the journey of making the product you are buying.

Luxurionworld targets developing grassroots’ creative industry based on traditional handmade textile products. There is huge untapped potential for generating sustainable livelihood in the handcrafted textile sector in India, which has a rich heritage of traditional craftsmanship, skilled work of professional weavers and dyers who usually produced articles of luxury made under court patronage or in the court tradition.

Do you really know your clothing? Have you ever thought about your favorite garment in your wardrobe? What fiber it is made from? We wish to share all that knowledge about the products we are selecting, arranging, and presenting. Catch your eye more, convince you of the quality.

The internet has certainly changed how we decide what to buy, especially when it comes to expensive products. We go online to research before we purchase in-store or through online, most of us use the internet to search for information prior to purchase. Our blog will help you receive all the research in a very simpler form with suitable visuals and videos readily available for you on a platter.

India has one of the finest textile traditions in the world with respect to dyeing, weaving and surface embellishment. The richness of its crafts is evident in the excavated findings of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro in the Indus Valley, which can be dated back to 5000 years. Indian textile history has been layered and enriched by nuances of migratory weavers, foreign invasions and religious influences. The wide range of design and weave, specific to the region of their origin, are masterpieces enhanced by the skills of the particular craftsmen and their tradition. The crafts thrived on the exploration and ingenuity of the craftspeople and their knowledge of locally available material.

The journey of Indian artisans from royal patronage to a life of forced workers under the British rule was not a deterrent for the evolution of fantastic weaves and designs. The freedom movement under Gandhi’s leadership gave importance to hand spinning and hand weaving of Khadi and hence provided political, economic and moral arguments around cloth known as ‘swadeshi’.

India’s expertise in vegetable dye dates back to ancient times, as the remnants of madder-dyed fabrics, printed in Gujarat were found in early Egyptian excavations in Fostat. The Indian dyer’s expertise was known worldwide, for their mastery of the craft and their skill was unparalleled in colouring textiles using natural material. Apart from some literary sources, the visual evidence of expertise in dyeing is witnessed in the 6th or 7th century dated fresco paintings of Ajanta Caves of Aurangabad in Maharashtra. The exquisite and intricate resist dyed ikats and tie – dyed fabrics in the attires of people, as painted in the frescoes are evident of proficient dyeing skills of craftsmen.

Each state of India displays a variety of designs, producing distinct textiles and crafts indigenous to the region. Thus traditional Indian textiles can be classified according to the region of production. Another classification of Indian textiles can be based on the technique of production.

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We wish to compile the different traditional textiles of India, categorized on the basis of the production technique, namely Embroidered, Resist Dyed, Printed and Hand-woven textiles. This blog will introduce you to the rich textile traditions of India.

What are the properties of the fibers from which the products are created? Knowledge about wash-care and storage are the various topics we will be covering in the days to come.

We invite you to be interactive with our blog.  Share all your concerns especially about the background of the products you will be choosing. Though, we will be uploading all information for you in our blog as a series. Expect something new every day.