After the fall of the Chouhan empire in Northern India at the hands of the powerful Mughals. The Bhulia community felt unsafe there and they migrated to Western Odisha with nothing with them except their skill of weaving. They settled in Western Odisha and practised their art of weaving and made Bapta sarees. These sarees were a mix of cotton and silk, gold colored yarns or threads were added to give it an elegance. These Sarees are traditionally hand-woven involving the process of tie & dye, tying sections of the yarn & then dipping them in colour one at a time and finally weaving them to produce multi-hued designs. These patterns are called Ikat or Baandha patterns. The popular motifs are: animals, birds, conch shell, wheel, flower and geometrical patterns which are trademark design of sambalpuri ikat.
The Sarees comes in both Cotton as well as Silk. While the silk sarees are worn for formal functions, weddings and the cotton for everyday use.
Two names come to our mind when we think of people who popularized the Sambalpuri saree one, was the late Mrs Indira Gandhi (Prime Minister) and the other, Radhashyam Meher who put his heart and soul for the research, production of the sambalpuri saree and made it into a co-operative whose dividends, the humble weaver or bhulia is still reaping. In 1926, Radhashyam designed the first handloom to weave textiles of ninety inches width. This achievement made him the ‘Parda agent’ of the Government of Bihar for the production of furnishing materials. Later, after the formation of the state of Odisha, he became the ‘Parda agent’ of the government of Odisha. His prowess in the Baandha art and his ability to put Odisha on the world map is commendable.
The extent of variety in the weaves available in our country is simply understated. The wealth awaits a loving eye and an Indian heart.
The yarns are tied according to the desired patterns and dyed. The yarns or set of yarns so produced is called ‘Baandha’. The unique feature of this form of weaving is that the designs are identical on both sides of the saree. This amazing technique enables a craftsman to weave colorful designs, patterns or a message into a saree.
Thus Baandha can be defined as a length of systematically arranged yarn, dyed according to a design, in such a manner so as to help a weaver to express his creativity.
Barpali, Bomkaior Sonepuri or Pasapali saree are the different kinds of sambalpuri sarees. The sarees come in cotton and silk and are loved for their uniqueness and bold bright colours.
Following is the Pasapalli sambalpuri saree
The name comes from the word, ’Pasa’ which is a game of gambling! The saree has checks in black –white resembling the board game. Now even red-white has become popular. The border is very traditional. We at Shatika also boast of a quite a collection of sambalpuri sarees.
Shop for this collection at: https://www.shatika.co.in/east-indian-weaves/sambalpuri-sarees.html
Shop For India’s Finest Handloom Sarees at: https://www.shatika.co.in/