Odisha’s Rich Handloom Legacy: Sarees, Weaves, and Traditions

Handloom Sarees Of Odisha

Odisha, a land of rich cultural heritage, is renowned for its exquisite handloom sarees. Among the various handloom sarees produced in Odisha, two weaving techniques stand out: Ikat and Extra-weft. Each district in Odisha has its own weaving style, resulting in a tapestry of diverse sarees that showcase the state’s artistic prowess. In this article, we will delve into the captivating world of Odisha’s handloom sarees, exploring the weaving clusters, unique motifs, and the cultural significance attached to each saree.

Sambalpuri Sarees: Double Ikat Elegance

Sambalpuri Sarees, originating from Sambalpur district, have garnered global acclaim in the realm of Double Ikat sarees. Although the number of weavers has dwindled, Sambalpuri sarees continue to enchant saree connoisseurs worldwide. Adorned with intricate designs, these sarees reflect the extraordinary craftsmanship of Odisha.

The creation of a Sambalpuri saree is a labor-intensive process involving tie-dyeing the warp and weft threads separately before weaving them together. The motifs featured in Sambalpuri sarees depict traditional elements such as flora, fauna, geometric patterns, and mythical figures. The use of vibrant colors adds to the allure of these sarees, making them a vibrant representation of Odisha’s cultural heritage.

Sonepur Silk Sarees: The Essence of Elegance

Sonepur, renowned for its high-quality mulberry silk, plays a vital role in the creation of exquisite handloom sarees. Weavers from Sonepur skillfully craft Sambalpuri Sarees, Bomkai Sarees, and Dolabedi Sarees using pure mulberry silk. The natural sheen and smooth texture of mulberry silk enhance the grace and elegance of these sarees.

For unparalleled quality, the Mulberry Dolabedi from Sonepur and the pure Tussar Dolabedi from Gopalpur are highly recommended. The intricate weaving patterns and motifs, combined with the luxurious fabric, make these sarees coveted possessions for saree enthusiasts.

Nuapatna’s Khandua Sarees: The Single Ikat Splendor

Nuapatna, located near Cuttack, is famous for its single Ikat weaves called Khandua sarees. These sarees have a distinct charm, featuring intricate patterns that are achieved by dyeing the warp threads before weaving them with the weft. The unique characteristic of Khandua sarees lies in the traditional motifs that adorn them, representing Odisha’s rich cultural heritage.

Within the Nuapatna weaving cluster, remarkable sarees like Nabakothi sarees and Sachipar sarees are meticulously created. These sarees often showcase intricate designs inspired by nature, religious symbols, and traditional Odia art forms. Nuapatna weavers also experiment with different fabrics like silk and Tussar to create Dolabedi sarees, adding diversity to their repertoire.

Bomkai Sarees: A Tapestry of Tradition

Bomkai village in Ganjam district has carved a niche for itself with its unique Bomkai sarees. These sarees embody the essence of Odisha’s cultural heritage, combining exquisite weaving techniques with vibrant colors and intricate motifs. The distinctive feature of Bomkai sarees is the supplementary weft technique, where additional threads are woven into the fabric to create beautiful designs.

Berhampur, in the same district, is known for its Berhampuri double palla silk sarees and the tribal Bomkai saree. While Berhampuri sarees showcase a fusion of traditional motifs and contemporary designs, the tribal Bomkai sarees feature motifs inspired by tribal art and nature. Berhampur, often referred to as the silk city of Odisha, offers a remarkable assortment of handloom sarees.

Other Noteworthy Handloom Sarees

Aside from the prominent weaving clusters, Odisha boasts an array of lesser-known yet equally captivating handloom sarees:

  • Dhalapathar Saree: Hailing from the Dhalapathar region, these sarees showcase geometric patterns and vibrant colors. The intricate designs are inspired by nature and represent the artistic talent of the weavers.
  • Padmanabhpur Cotton Saree: With delicate cotton fabric and intricate motifs, Padmanabhpur sarees exude elegance and simplicity. The designs often depict floral patterns, giving the sarees a graceful appeal.
  • Habaspuri Saree: Adorned with the iconic Habaspuri motif, these sarees are a symbol of tradition and grace. The motifs are intricately woven, representing Odisha’s cultural heritage.
  • Hazarbuti Saree: Known for its intricate weaving and thousand-buttis design, Hazarbuti sarees epitomize opulence. The use of fine threads and meticulous craftsmanship make these sarees highly sought after.
  • Siminoi Saree: Siminoi sarees, characterized by their striking color combinations and unique patterns, are a visual delight. The sarees feature traditional motifs and contemporary designs, showcasing the weavers’ creativity.
  • Gopalpur Saree: Gopalpur sarees, crafted with finesse, showcase the skillful artistry of the weavers. The sarees often feature intricate patterns, including traditional motifs and contemporary designs.
  • Dongria Saree: Hailing from Kalahandi, Dongria sarees captivate with their pallu, adorned with tribal motifs. These sarees reflect the indigenous art forms and cultural heritage of the Dongria Kondh tribe.
  • Kotpad Saree: Koraput district’s Kotpad sarees are renowned for their coarse organic cotton material and earthy tones, reflecting a harmonious connection with nature. The dyeing process involves using natural dyes extracted from plants, resulting in unique color variations.
  • Santhal Saree: The Santhal saree, an ode to the indigenous Santhal tribe, embodies their rich cultural heritage. These sarees often feature bold patterns, reflecting the tribal art and identity.


Odisha, with its vast repertoire of handloom sarees, offers a glimpse into the state’s vibrant cultural tapestry. From the globally acclaimed Sambalpuri sarees to the indigenous treasures of Kotpad and Dongria sarees, each handloom creation tells a unique story of tradition, artistry, and cultural significance. By exploring and celebrating the diverse handloom sarees of Odisha, we not only support the weavers’ livelihoods but also preserve and promote the rich heritage of this ancient craft for generations to come.

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