Bandhani's spread across India

The technique of bandhani has a history in many parts of the subcontinent as well as the bordering Sindh region in modernday Pakistan. Within India, bandhani is most prevalent in Gujarat and Rajasthan, but Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Bengal and South India have also produced bandhani for their local use.



“ The Sindh region, before India and Pakistan separated, was one. Kachchh and Sindh were considered one, so when it rained in Kachchh, the pastoralists would bring their animals here, and when conditions were better in Sindh, they would go there. There was a constant back and forth, and that is how we got here. ”

- Sattar Khatri, Bhuj


Sindh and Rajasthan

The Sind region is believed to be the origin of the Khatri community, bandhani's major practitioners in India. Jamnagar, a city known for its particularly bright red dyes and bustling bandhani business was founded in 1540 by Jadeja Rajputs from Sind. Kachchh is the main center for intricate and sophisticated design work and rich colours that are in high demand by businessmen in Jamnagar, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and other parts of India.

In Rajasthan, bandhani is an important part of one’s identity, and is produced in many locations, with Jaipur, Udaipur and Bikaner among the most active. Bandhani chunaris (cloth worn over the head and shoulders by women) symbolize womanhood and marriage and the cotton red and yellow odhanis known as piliya (pila= yellow) are worn by young mothers. Laheriya, or “wave pattern” is used primarily in turbans, and created when material is rolled diagonally and tied by lightly binding threads before dyeing. Cotton bandhani turbans, saris and odhanis were made and worn in South India until the late 19th century while bandhani on dark blue cotton fabrics with white figurative patterns were made for local farming communities in Madhya Pradesh