Bandhani, derived from the word ‘bandha’ which means to tie, are tie-dyed textiles primarily from Rajasthan and Gujarat. Tie-dye is a resist dyeing technique in which pre-determined areas on the fabric are tied tightly with thread to protect them from the colour, followed by dyeing and removal of threads to reveal an interesting pattern on fabric.
The earliest reference to bandhani dates back to 6th-7th century ad at the ajanta cave paintings that portray women wearing bodices with resist dyed designs. There is a literary reference to bandhani textiles in Harshacharita written by Banabhatta in 7th century ad. The biography quotes the wedding of King Harsha’s sister, Rajyashri and details the tie-dyeing of the bride’s odhani.
The word ‘chunari’ is a commonly used term that refers to patterns created by fine tie-dyed dots. Since the resist dyeing is done on head-cloths, chunari is also the name of the garment worn by women in rajasthan