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CRAFTS OF INDIA / BANDHANI / PROCESS
BANDHANI
Tools

In some places in Rajasthan the craftsmen wear a metal ring with a protruded point to facilitate the lifting of cloth for tying. Many others prefer not to use it so that the cloth does not get damaged.

The Bandhani Process

- The process, though relatively simple, is very time-consuming. The tying of the fabric is mostly carried out by women or young girls. The material generally used is a thin loosely woven silk known as georgette or cotton known as malmal.

- The area of the fabric to be dyed is outlined using fugitive colors.

- Then a clear thin sheet of plastic, which has been pierced with pin holes, is kept over this area of the fabric and using fugitive colours an imprint of the desired pattern is transferred onto the fabric.

- The craftsperson then pulls on a small area of the fabric where each is placed and winds thread tightly around the protruding cloth to form a knot or bhindi. The thread generally used is nylon thread.

- After tying the knots the fabric is thoroughly washed to remove the imprint. The cloth is then dipped in napthol for five minutes and dyed in yellow or another light color for two minutes.

- Next it is rinsed, squeezed, dried and then tied again and dipped in a darker color. This is kept for three to four hours (without opening the knots) to allow the color to soak in. During this process the small area beneath the thread resists the dye leaving an undyed dot.

- This is usually carried out in several stages starting with a light color like yellow, then after tying some more knots a darker color is used and so on.

- After the last dyeing process has been completed the fabric is washed and if necessary, starched.

- After the fabric is dried, its folds are pulled apart in a particular way releasing the knots and revealing their pattern. The result is a usually deep colored cloth with dots of various colours forming a pattern.