Jaipur is well known for its conventional artifacts from textiles to sculptures and so on. One of these textile works is Bandhej – a form of tie and dye work that has a significant place in the history of Rajasthan. The textile work of Bandhej is not just worn in Jaipur but it has also been spotted in films like Dor, Lagaan, DDLJ, Jodha Akbar, and so on.
Here’s a brief introduction about Bandhej and its history.
It’s one of the oldest forms of fashion textile and its existence can be traced back to the era of Banbhatta’s Harshcharita (a biography of Indian Ruler Harsh) circa 590 to 647 CE. Back in those days, it was won by ladies who considered it as a lucky charm.
Bandhani is a fabric that is cannot be brought or made very easily, rather it goes through a long and tedious procedure. The fabric is tied tightly and then dyed with hands. Then it is converted into beautiful sarees, salwar suits, and even scarves. Sometimes, embellishments are also used to decorate the apparels with mirror work or other articles.
Bandhej designs are usually found in the sarees and that women like to wear during festivals like Teej or Durga Puja. Even men are seen donning turbans with Bandhej work. Apart from this, it’s also found in skirts, tops, Culottes, Palazzos, etc.
It’s said that the yellow color in Bandhej is a symbol of auspiciousness while red symbolizes a newly married woman. Presently, it is also found in other colors like Blue, Pink, and multiple shades. Many renowned designers like Anita Dongre, Ritu Kumar, Manish Arora and Sabyasachi Mukherjee have made use of the fabric.
If you are looking for a good piece of Bandhej fabric on a shopping spree in Rajasthan, head to Johari Bazaar and Kishanople Bazaar. There are many retail outlets like Vasansi and Pratap Sons offering designer sarees and suits with Zari and heavy Gotta work.