Sambalpuri sarees are more than just garments; they are intricately woven fabrics that tell a captivating story. Originating from the land of Maa Samaleswari, these handloom sarees hold great significance among the rich tapestry of Indian handlooms. The double ikat weaving technique used in creating Sambalpuri sarees, also known as Sambalpuri Ikat handloom, has gained worldwide recognition and adoration. Unfortunately, these sarees faced a decline in popularity over the years due to neglect. However, their fortunes changed when the late Mrs. Indira Gandhi adorned them in the 1980s, and since then, Sambalpuri handloom sarees have become highly sought-after. With their tie-dyed prints and magical woven patterns, these handloom sarees exhibit extraordinary creativity, bold colors, and stunning fabrics. As they hold a GI (Geographical Indication) tag, they enjoy a large customer base and have become readily available in both online and offline stores. However, it is essential to exercise caution while shopping for Sambalpuri sarees, as there are many duplicates in the market. In this article, we will discuss the key parameters to consider when purchasing an authentic Sambalpuri handloom saree.
- The Fabric: Authentic Sambalpuri sarees are made from pure silk or cotton handlooms and do not contain any artificial or mixed fabric. It is crucial to inspect the fabric before making a purchase. Additionally, the fabric is assigned a numbering system ranging from 40 to 120, with 120 denoting the highest quality.
- The Weaving Pattern: Sambalpuri handloom sarees are renowned for their exquisite Ikat weaving technique, which involves both warp and weft. When considering a Sambalpuri saree, pay close attention to the weaving pattern and be aware of the unique workmanship involved.
- The Dyes: Sambalpuri handloom sarees feature exclusive and vibrant dyes. The dyeing process is elaborate, resulting in attractive and eco-friendly colors. The quality of dye used in Sambalpuri sarees is exceptional, and with proper care, the chances of fading are minimal.
- Motifs: Discover the intricate artistry of original Sambalpuri handloom sarees, adorned with traditional motifs like Shankha (Shell), Phula (Flower), Chakra (Wheel), Swan, and Elephant, symbolizing Lord Jagannath of Puri. By recognizing and valuing these motifs, you can easily distinguish genuine handlooms from imitations.
- The GI Tag: Sambalpuri Ikat sarees have held a Geographical Indication tag since 2010. The GI tag is a mark of authenticity, indicating the specific geographical origin and the unique qualities associated with that region. It is crucial to verify the presence of the GI tag when purchasing a Sambalpuri handloom saree to ensure its originality.
When buying a Sambalpuri handloom saree from Odisha, it is important to consider certain factors to ensure you acquire an authentic piece of this traditional art form. Pay attention to the fabric’s purity, the weaving pattern, the quality and uniqueness of the dyes, the presence of traditional motifs, and the GI tag. By keeping these five parameters in mind, you can make an informed choice and cherish an original Sambalpuri handloom saree. These sarees not only reflect the rich cultural heritage of Odisha but also provide a sustainable livelihood to the artisans who continue to preserve this magnificent craft. So, embark on your Sambalpuri saree shopping journey armed with knowledge and appreciation for this exceptional art form.
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