Leheriya Dyeing Process in Rajasthan


Leheriya is very popular design in fabrics produced through the basic method of tie and die. The dyeing process of Leheriya is widely used throughout Rajasthan. The word Leheriya is derived from a Hindi term ‘leliai’, that means ‘wave’. Beautiful cloths are produced using Leheriya dyeing. Skilled dyers produce beautiful strips on fabrics that are eye-catching. The dyeing process is mainly employed in Udaipur, Jaipur and Jodhpur. Leheriya started in 19th century and early 20th century by the merchants of Marvari community in Rajasthan. They used to wear colorful and vigilant leheriya fabric and turbans. 

To make diagonal stripes, the trained Rajasthani craftsmen use a specific way of resist-dyeing, in which material is commonly a sari or turban length rolled up diagonally around opposite sides and firmly tied at intervals prior the actual dyeing process starts. Light and delicate fabrics like fine silk, chiffon, thin cotton voile are commonly preferred that allow its color to go through the rolled cloth. Fabric is also wrapped across the wooden pool, when it’s wet in a dye stage. The length between ties and the thread’s thickness may vary for obtaining snipes of various widths.

Rajasthani dyers have exceptional talent allowing them design multi-colored stripes. A checkered method is known as mothro, which is made by crossing of various diagonal stripes. Fabric is unrolled and rolled up from reverse side. The dyeing and tying method of clothing is then once again repeated.

A wide range of leheriya textiles are designed with an easy way. Panchranga design is very promising in 5 colors because the number 5 has unique place in Hindu mythology. There is another famous pattern i.e. satranga, designed in 7 rainbow colors. Stripes included in 1 color and direct are called as leheriya, while diagonal stripes that cross at right angles to make pattern and checks called as mothra. Other types of stripes designed with the same pattern are salaidar, gandadar, rajashahi, pratapshahi and samudralehar.