The Beauty and Limitations of Santal Phuta Saree: A Buyer’s Guide

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As a saree seller, I often get asked about Santal Phuta saree, a beautiful handwoven saree with tribal motifs. While this saree is popular among the Santhal tribe in Odisha and has gained popularity in recent years, it has some limitations that buyers should be aware of before making a purchase.

Phuta/Phoda Phuta check sarees are handwoven with thick low count cotton in Mayurbhanj district. The organic cotton feels warm in winter and cool in summer, making it a versatile saree. Various tribal motifs are embroidered into these sarees, such as arrow, duck, child, man, shield, flower, deer, etc., showcasing the tribe’s close relationship with nature. It takes about three days to weave a single saree, showcasing the skill and dedication of the weavers.

However, one limitation of Santal Phuta saree is its width. While the original saree is 5 metres long and 38 inches wide, nowadays, 5.2 metre long and 39″-40” wide sarees are being specially made. This width can be a problem for women who prefer to drape their sarees traditionally and cover their feet. As a saree seller, I have faced some situations with the saree after being sold, where buyers have been unhappy with the width.

It is essential to consider your height before buying this saree. If you are short, you can wear this saree without any problem. But if you are of standard height, like the woman I had a conversation with today, who was 5’9″, then the saree might not fit your length-wise. Therefore, it is crucial to keep in mind this limitation and make an informed decision.

As a saree seller, I used to promote Santal Phuta saree because of the obvious reasons, “pop of colors and budget-friendly.” But over time, I realized that this reason is not enough. Santal Saree is not the only tribal saree of Odisha. There are other tribal sarees like Dongria Saree and Kotpad Saree, which do not have the same width problem as Santal saree.

However, if you are okay with the width and would like to experiment with the traditional draping style of this particular weave, you can go ahead and buy it. It is a beautiful saree with a unique cultural significance and aesthetic appeal. It showcases the rich heritage and artistic skills of the Santhal tribe.

Santal Phuta saree is a beautiful handwoven saree with tribal motifs that is popular among the Santhal tribe in Odisha. However, it has some limitations in terms of width, which buyers should keep in mind before making a purchase. If you are short, you can wear this saree without any problem. But if you are of standard height, you might not be happy with the width of the saree. Therefore, it is essential to consider your height and preferences before making a decision. Nonetheless, if you are willing to experiment with the traditional draping style of this saree, it can be a unique addition to your wardrobe.

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