A Madder Dyed Cotton Turban: Indian Tie and Dye or Bandhani
ca. mid twentieth century
174" x 6 1/2", 441.9 cm x 16.5 cm
This narrow length of lightweight cotton was intended to be worn as a turban and perhaps was indeed worn as such.
Tie dyed in minuscule little rounds, the precise and gorgeous pattern of this madder dyed bandhani turban changes from front to back: the pattern in front is a loose variant on the interlocking circles motif which then gives way to bands of small flowers amid a flurried ground, which then gives way to a decorative band of tie dye and then, after this, the cloth is blank of decoration and is just a deep red color.
The condition of this turban, save for one match head sized hole is very good: the cotton is still strong, the color is still deep--and the tie dye is as magnificently done as when it was first made. This turban was made in the Indian state of Rajasthan.
In the field of plain madder dyed cloth the turban is cut which indicates that in its original form it was likely longer than it is now. Still, this is a remarkably good length of cloth and a wonderful example of Indian bandhani.