Traditional handwoven ikat or baandha involves tying and dyeing one of the warp/weft before weaving (single ikat) or both the warp and weft before weaving (double ikat). Weavers from the Meher community are located in Bargarh, Boudh, Sonepur, Bolangir, Nuapada & Sambalpur, as well as some parts of Dhenkanal, Kalahandi, Sundargarh, and Jharsuguda districts. The traditional pit loom with throw/fly shuttle technique is used for weaving, and there are various varieties of sarees such as Sonepuri, Pasapali, Bomkai, Sachipar, Bichitrapuri, and Bapta (Cotton & Silk mixed).
Among the most beautiful Sambalpuri sarees is the ‘Pasapalli’ saree, also known as ‘Sakta.’ It derives its name from the ancient game of chess, Pasa, which has been played since Mahabharat times, where the dice rolling set the course of the game. The checkerboard pattern of the saree is double ikat, meaning both the warp and weft are tied and dyed before weaving, making it classy and timeless.
The ‘Bichitrapuri’ saree is another variation where a band of ikat work lines is sandwiched between two large checkered blocks of Pasapali, and the anchal has wave and flower ikat. This saree is perfect for adding a chic addition to your wardrobe for the scorching summer or any time of the year. Wear it to charm one and all with its unique design and timeless elegance