Tie-dye: A 5000 year old art form lives on

Tie-dye is a modern word coined in 1960s America for a 5000 year old art form which originated in India. Texts from the time of Alexander the Great mention bandhani (type of tie-dye) amongst the beautiful cloths of India. The term bandhani is derived from the Sanskrit word banda which means tied. The states of Gujarat and Rajasthan continue to practice this art to make sarees, linen and other cloth products.The cloth is twisted, folded, pleated and crumpled before being tied with strings and rubber bands to form intricate patterns. Wearing a bandhani saree was supposed to being a bride good luck. You can read more about the history of bandhani here. Below is an image of one of our students holding a tie-dye cloth she made herself.


A young volunteer named Sabrina held a workshop with the ALF students to teach them how to tie and dye cloth to make various, beautiful patterns. The girls first twisted and folded their cloth before securely tying strings around them to keep the dye from seeping into the blocked areas.


Each girl then chose her own colour scheme and dipped her cloth into one, two or three colours of her choosing. You can see some of their gorgeous work below!


We are so happy to see our girls learn an indigenous art form and have fun in the process!

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