India is rich in textile legacies that are unbroken for hundreds of years. One of them is Bandhani from western states like Rajasthan and Gujarat. The technique involves resist-dyeing light summery fabrics painstakingly with tiny dots either in specific patterns or all over.
Just like its close cousin, the leheriya, Bandhani is easily recognisable by its vibrant colours. Bandhani’s method of tying and binding tiny areas of the cloth tightly before dyeing gives us the iconic dot motifs – large and small – spread out in soothing meandering lines and curves.
Besides the traditional sarees and lehenga skirts which are a wardrobe favourite of older generations, Bandhani dresses and dupattas have recently gained great popularity. Imagine fusion dress silhouettes like long, draped decorated all over with the familiar unevenly square motifs quintessential to Bandhani. Meanwhile, Bandhani dupattas are a versatile addition to the many different versions of kurta and pant sets.
New Bandhani Styles
The distinctive bandhani patterns are applied by expert craftspersons on soft cottons, chiffons and silks. Bandhani separates are a fashionable choice and take centrestage on occasions that demand ethnic wear, like weddings and festive celebrations.
While the Bandhani (or Bandhej) saree is an ongoing trendsetter, innovative styles like Bandhani dresses are currently much in vogue. Designer cowl dresses, draped dresses, high-waist kaftans, wrap dresses, off-shoulder maxi dresses, kite dresses, and dresses with jackets – the traditional Bandhani dyed look gives them an unusual, rare and incomparable beauty.
If there is one type of dupatta you’ll find in most Indian women’s wardrobes, it is the Bandhani dupatta often elevated with mirror work, metallic “zardozi” embellishment, zari highlights, hand-embroideries like “aari”, tassels and scalloped edges. Their flowy elegance and refreshing citrus shades make this tie-dyed dupatta instantly glam up any traditional attire.
Bandhani dupattas add edgy glamour irrespective of the cut of the kurta, and whether you’re pairing it with shararas, crinkled skirts lined with zari, cigarette pants with embroidered ankle highlights, dhoti pants, palazzos and more.
Available Within Reach
Find designer Bandhani separates on Ajio Luxe, Pernia’s Pop-Up Shop, Tata CliQ Luxury, Myntra Luxe, and similar high-end shopping portals. Discover exquisite ensembles by Nupur Kanoi, Vastraa, Sunita Shanker, Pinnacle by Suchi Sancheti, Stotram, Arab Crab, and many other names.
Spruce up your Bandhani look with one-of-a-kind designer jewellery accents in gold with kundan and meenakari work, or chunky silver accessories. Finish the look with mojris that stylishly outline your feet.