Creator of some of the finest leheriyas, Mohammed Tayeb Khan is a pioneer amidst a vanishing breed of craftsmen. His handcrafted shaded mukaish chiffon sarees, bandhanis, turbans, vibrant duppattas and scarves have been patronised by Rajasthan royalty for long. Known for their vivid hues pitched against soft pastels, his craft stands out against the backdrop of the desert city of Jodhpur.
Leheriya is a procedure in which a piece of chiffon is tied with rope and then dipped in dye, resulting in wave-like lines across the fabric. Tayeb has invented a technique of ombre dyeing in shaded leheriya, in which the chiffon is first shaded in multiple colours and then tied to dye — an innovation for which he is famous the world over.
Awarded the Padma Shri in 2001, Tayeb is no less a celebrity than his clientele — whether it’s Princess Shivranjani of Jodhpur, Princess Diya Kumari of Jaipur or even Prince Charles of Wales. Among the many feathers in his cap is starring in a Bollywood movie alongside Arun Govil.
Tayeb is taking forward the legacy of tie-and-dye, handed over to him by his father. His work is a classic example of sustainable fashion. “We use only natural dyes and colours, no harmful chemicals,” says Khan.
Possibly Jodhpur’s best kept secret, Tayeb doesn’t sell from a store by choice. For him to share his work with you, you have to know someone who knows him. He is happy to serve tea and local delights as one glances through his amazing collection.