The Weaving Craft Tradition of Odisha
The textiles of Odisha have an individuality of their own. Bold and unusual patterns, vibrant yet subtle blend of colours, unique tie and die effects and a luxuriant texture characterize them. The State is famous for its silk ikat weaves, an intricate process (bandha) in which wrap and weft threads are first tied and then dyed, to produce the designed pattern on the loom while weaving. Typical design motifs include rows of birds and animals, fish, seashells, rudraksh beads and temple spires.The most popular and flagship item of tie and dye textile of Odisha is the Saree. Typical varieties of Odisha sarees are Khanduas, Saktapada, Tarabali and Bichitrapuri, to name a few made both in cotton and silk. However, the weavers also delve into other items like bed covers, dress materials, handkerchiefs and lungi & gamuchha (towel)
Handlooms in Odisha today have ushered in exquisite fabrics, breathtaking in their range. Yet they are durable and economical. The mastery of the weavers have especially touched sylvan heights in tassar silk. The tassar cooperatives produce the finest quality yarn whose brilliance, glaze and texture is testified by their popularity.
The dedication to details from silkworm cultivation to silk weaving combine centuries of experience and modern know how, to create silk ties, and suberb sarees that harmonise the delicate feel with a soothing blend of colours, elegant and attractive, exquisite but comfortable.
The tribal people of the State also excel in producing textiles of myriad hues using vegetable dyes.
Visiting Odisha's town and cities fetches you an entire range of arts and crafts in the market places and side corners. The helping hand lent by Co-operative societies has played an important role in preserving the rich craft heritage of the State. They ensure easy access to customers and thus entertain a continuous demand for products. But perhaps the secret of Odisha's crafts lies in their fascinating combination of beauty and utility-a tribute to the vision of the craftsmen. Instead of being merely decorative reminders of another age, the crafts of Odisha are gloriously alive matching with modern tastes and yet retaining all the essential traditional links with a checkered past.