Exploring Bandhani, the original tie dye technique from India
Releasing its unbridled beauty on the world over five thousands of years ago, Bandhani is an ancient and masterful tie dyeing tradition, and the first ever tie dyeing technique. Originating in the regions of Rajasthan and Gujarat, this highly skilled process takes years to perfect, revealing stunningly intricate patterns that are hard to take your eyes off of!
Bandhani and FARA
At FARA we fell in love with this age-old technique. The beautiful patterns, which can be seen in head-turning pieces like the Allegra Dress, drew us in like a moth to a flame. The ancient art of Bandhani, meaning “to bind” or “to tie”, is a craft that involves meticulously tying fabric with thread before dying, anything from tiny dots to big circles. The resulting patterns can be intricate and sumptuous, or relaxed and breezy. While all of these artistic pieces are dazzling to behold, it is this more minimalist, breezy look that made us fall in love and never look back; the elegant and free-flowing look that encapsulates the free-spirited magnetism of FARA.
A Family Tradition
Bandhani is often a family trade, and an opportunity for each skilled artisan to showcase their expertise. The soul of each piece is brought to life by each artist who creates it, a piece of India that comes to life in a beautiful and rich textile. It is an art that requires incredible patience, but which always reveals a piece as unique as the individual crafting it. We worked with traditional artisans in Jaipur, who learnt how to dye each piece by hand from their fathers and forefathers. We love knowing that this ancient tradition is still turning heads to this day, cascading down the stunning silhouettes of free spirits all around the world!
Artisans of The Pink City
Bandhani is still a thriving craft, especially where we source our stunning materials from in Jaipur. Known as “The Pink City” because of the beautiful colour scheme of its buildings, Rajasthani culture blossoms in Jaipur, with many of India’s incredible artisans supporting themselves through the preservation of ancient crafts. It is not only magnificent to see Bandhani artists supporting and expressing themselves through this beautiful medium, but also to know that this skill will be shared for generations to come.
While the Bandhani tradition often favours bright colours, like red, yellow, blue and green, we decided to lean towards earthy hues. We were absolutely floored when we laid eyes on our Tigers Eye Bandhani, as seen in pieces like the Baleares Maxi Skirt and Carolina Dress, radiating a rich golden-brown that actually resembles a tiger’s eye! We also couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw our Sand Bandhani in pieces like our Baleares Crop Top. This colour is fair and ethereal, like the sand on the beaches of Goa, or the sun shining on the Moroccan desert at dawn. These earthy tones captured our nomadic imaginations and reignited our desire to travel the world while showcasing the masterful artistry and soul of India’s artisans.
Contemporary Tie Dye
We feel truly honoured that we are able to incorporate the stunning Bandhani tradition into our pieces. It brings us such joy to see this age-old craft flowing over the silhouettes of incredible women as they stroll down city streets, or walk on the beaches of the world. Rooted in custom and ritual, this artistry is the grandmother of dying techniques and continues to thrive to this day. We look forward to helping carry the flame, and watching rich Bandhani tapestries floating on the breeze for generations to come!