Ancient Art Form
Tie and dye has been practised in different ways all over the world for centuries. The oldest proof of this practice is nearly 5000 years old. Infact there is a record of this art form in 5th century in Egypt. In Japan it started in 8th century and then spread to Indonesia, China and India.
Ajanta and Ellora caves have carvings and paintings depicting bandhini drapes on females for us to see.In India it was mainly done by the Khatri Community of Kutch. Both Rajasthan and Gujarat used it extensively.
Leheriya Pattern: Use of Natural Colours
The Leheriya pattern symbolises water waves. The dyeing techniques used involve making coloured water in a bucket and then boiling the cloth in it. The fabric used is cotton, voile, handmade or silk. These are natural fabrics and easy to dye thus and use less water.
The colours used in the olden times were made out of flowers, barks, leaves and vegetable dyes. Turmeric was used for yellow colour, leaves of Indigo Ferra Tinctoria give the beautiful blue, Manjistha or majth gives red and orange colour and so on. However today there is wide spread usage of chemicals to get brighter and stronger colours. The issue of pollution due to the coloured water that has to be disposed off has become increasingly important. It is time we spread awareness regarding the harm these chemicals do to our environment.
A Labour and Skill Intensive Art
The design is made on the cloth by tying small dots on fabric with continuous thread. The cloth is tied again and again and also rolled to get the desired design. The thread used is usually nylon which does not absorb water and thus the area under the thread does not get coloured.
The cloth is then dipped in coloured water and boiled or soaked. Rinsing, drying and dipping in coloured water is repeated to get different colours on the cloth.The layers of nylon thread are opened with each colour change. Thus as the cloth is opened fully we see the metamorphosis of a plain cloth into a beautiful piece of art.
Promoting Indigenous Art Forms
Today we need a very conscious promotion of these indigenous craft forms so that they do not die with the inflow of mass produced and factory made cheaper cloth. We have many designers today who have taken up the cause of our traditional arts like bandhini, leheriya, shibori and promote them with their work.
Jaipur Kala Chaupal brings to your attention several art forms created by both international and local artists in the Pink City!