The bandini or bandhej cloth and sarees of Rajasthan are famous nationwide. The tie-and-dye fabrics are created in a riot of colours in the state, with a host of products available across Jodhpur. You can pick up kurtas, chaniya choli, and even bags with bandini work.

Derived from the Sanskrit work 'banda', which means to tie, the art of Bandini involves tightly tying a piece of cloth in various places, and then dying it in various colours, thus creating unique and interesting patterns, depending on how the cloth is tied. The cloth is dried in the open air, allowing the cloth to absorb and retain the colours of the dye.


Bandini clothes are mostly made using block colours such as yellow, red, blue, green and black. The fabric comes in a variety of styles, with the leheriya, mothra, ekdali and shikari patterns being the most common. Once the cloth is dry, waves, dots, strips and squares are woven into it. It is available in designs like ekdali (single knot), trikunti (three knots), chaubandi (four knots), dungar shahi (mountain), boond (small dot), kodi (teardrop) and laddu jalebi (Indian sweetmeat).


Historically, the origin of bandhej can be traced back to over 5,000 years ago, and literary evidence suggests it was used during the time of Bana Bhatt`s Harshacharita in a royal wedding. Early representations of it have even been found in the Ajanta Caves.

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