Leheriya is a traditional style of tie dye practiced in Rajasthan, India that results in brightly colored cloth with distinctive patterns. This pattern is especially popular for clothing during the monsoon season. This tie and dye symbolize the unique and rich costume heritage of Rajasthan. The technique gets its name from the Rajasthani word for wave because the dyeing technique is often used to produce complex wave patterns. It is a simple dyeing technique popular worldwide and produces striped textiles in various bright colors. The technique is named after the pattern it forms, that is, waves, which is called Leheriya in Rajasthan. As far as regional influences and inspirations are concerned, the leheria style has been inspired by regions in and around Gujarat, such as Udaipur in Rajasthan. Lehariya is distinguished by the natural, ripple effect in mesmerizing colors, using a color-resist dyeing technique. Depending on the skill and imagination of a worker, every fabric gets a new look, with vivid colors, fresh patterns, and vibrant designs.
Leheriya dyeing is done on thin cotton or silk cloth. In leheriya an impressive variety of tie and die tricks is used to create diagonal stripes on various materials that enhance the effect of the print. The fabric is rolled diagonally into a tight coil, tied with thread at regular intervals, and then dyed in a manner that the color is applied only in a particular pattern on the textile. The fabric may be rolled again and re-tied to resist the existing color and add another color in the leheriya pattern. The fabric when opened fully the result is diagonally striped fabric white and varied light colored lines on a darker background.
Colors and design
The most common base color on which leheriya is practiced is white. Leheriya is much easier to maintain than a style like a block printing. The patterns are diagonal or zigzag lines created by the wrap-resist technique. Leheriya fabric is available in multi-colors ranging from bright hues to pastel serene shades known for their lively aura. Leheriya designs can be made more complex and multi-colored with multiple dye baths. leheriya textile that has a fine-checked pattern created by crisscrossing diagonal lines. Mothara involves an additional step in the process. The leheriya is again rolled into a coil—this time at a 90-degree angle to the original tied and dyed again. Now when the fabric is unrolled, it displays the subtle plaid or checked design, which is the defining characteristic of mothara.
Lehariya designs dupattas, sarees, dresses, lehengas, and Kurtis can be worn. Fine cotton or silk leheriya fabrics are used as head cloth or safa by men, worn on special occasions like festivals and weddings. The price of apparel featuring leheriya depends on the number of times the cloth has been dyed and the textile used. Leheriya was a style that exclusively belonged to the Marwari community in Rajasthan for many years. Those who belonged to the royal class wore blue leheria attire. Traditional odhani called Piliya or Pilado is a Version of Leheriya in red and yellow color scheme is an integral part of the costume for young mothers. To impart properties of anti-inflammation these textiles were dyed with turmeric. Hence it had social significance as they were gifted to the mothers of newborn boys. A typical piliya is largely yellow in color with red appearing on borders, a big central circular motif, and four smaller circles around it.