Bomkai sarees: A timeless heritage of Odisha


Bomkai sarees, also known as Sonepuri sarees, are a traditional textile art form that originated in the western part of Odisha, India. These sarees are named after the village of Bomkai, where skilled artisans weave them with great precision and artistry. Bomkai sarees are highly sought after for their timeless beauty and cultural significance.

Origin and History of Bomkai Sarees

The history of Bomkai sarees dates back several centuries. It is believed that the art of weaving Bomkai sarees was introduced by the Bhulia community, who were weavers by profession. Over time, the art form flourished and gained recognition for its intricate craftsmanship and unique designs.

Unique Features of Bomkai Sarees

Bomkai sarees possess unmistakable characteristics that distinguish them from other saree varieties. The borders and pallu, the graceful loose end of the saree, boast intricate thread-work that weaves a tapestry of captivating beauty. While the body of the saree often showcases minimal embellishments, it is the resplendent pallu that truly steals the spotlight, becoming the crowning glory of Bomkai sarees.

Traditional Techniques Used in Making Bomkai Sarees

Crafting Bomkai sarees entails a meticulous and artful process that demands unparalleled skill and expertise. These sarees are meticulously handwoven using traditional pit looms, where each thread is delicately dyed with natural colors and intricately interlaced to form mesmerizing patterns. The unique extra-weft technique is employed to create the enchanting and distinctive designs that define Bomkai sarees.

Design Patterns and Motifs

Bomkai sarees showcase a wide range of design patterns and motifs, each with its symbolic significance. Some popular motifs include peacocks, elephants, flowers, and geometric patterns. These motifs are often woven using contrasting colors to create a visually captivating effect.

Materials Used in Bomkai Sarees

Bomkai sarees are primarily made using silk or cotton yarn. The silk Bomkai sarees are known for their lustrous texture and rich colors, while the cotton variants offer a comfortable and lightweight option for everyday wear. The choice of material depends on the occasion and personal preferences of the wearer.

Popular Colors and Combinations

Bomkai sarees are known for their vibrant colors and striking combinations. The color palette includes rich hues like red, blue, green, and yellow, often combined with contrasting shades to enhance the visual appeal. The use of natural dyes lends an earthy charm to these sarees.

Occasions to Wear Bomkai Sarees

Bomkai sarees are a popular choice for various occasions, ranging from weddings and festivals to cultural events and social gatherings. The regal elegance of these sarees makes them suitable for both formal and semi-formal occasions. Many women also prefer to wear Bomkai sarees as a part of their bridal trousseau.

Styling Tips for Bomkai Sarees

To make a style statement with a Bomkai saree, consider pairing it with antique jewelry or traditional Odia accessories. Experiment with different draping styles and blouse designs to add a contemporary touch. You can also accessorize with a clutch or potli bag to complete the look.

Maintaining and Caring for Bomkai Sarees

Proper care is essential to ensure the longevity of Bomkai sarees. It is recommended to dry clean them to preserve their vibrant colors and intricate designs. Store them in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight, and avoid hanging them for extended periods to prevent stretching.

The Impact of Bomkai Sarees on Odisha’s Culture

Bomkai sarees hold immense cultural significance in Odisha. They not only serve as a representation of the state’s rich artistic heritage but also provide livelihood opportunities to skilled weavers. The art of Bomkai weaving has been recognized as an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO, further highlighting its importance.

Promoting and Preserving the Art of Bomkai Weaving

The diligent efforts of Sanskriti Cuttack are dedicated to the promotion and preservation of the revered art of Bomkai weaving. This esteemed organization extends valuable support to weavers, orchestrates captivating exhibitions and enlightening workshops, and inspires the younger generation to embrace this time-honored craft. These endeavors play a pivotal role in safeguarding the sustainability of this ancient art form for generations to come.

Celebrities and Influencers in Bomkai Sarees

Bomkai sarees have garnered popularity not only in Odisha but also among fashion enthusiasts and celebrities worldwide. Prominent personalities have been seen donning these sarees at red carpet events, weddings, and cultural gatherings. Their endorsement has played a significant role in bringing Bomkai sarees into the fashion spotlight.


Bomkai sarees embody the magnificent cultural legacy of Odisha, showcasing impeccable artistry, a mesmerizing array of colors, and exquisite traditional motifs. These sarees are treasured possessions that capture the hearts of saree enthusiasts worldwide. By supporting and celebrating this ancient art form, we contribute to the preservation of Odisha’s cultural legacy.

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