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The revival of Odisha Ikat

by Ananya Mahapatra

Odisha is a state rich in its culture and traditions. It has a rich heritage of textiles and weaving. The whole culture of handloom and handicrafts has a reason why there are so many geographically tagged products of Odisha. Let it be the appliqué work of Pipili or the famous Patachitra.

Textile weaving is a major industry in Odisha that supports thousands of weavers and craftspeople. Odisha is known for its hand-woven cotton and silk. Whenever we talk about textiles of Odisha, the first name that comes to everyone’s mind is the signature “Ikat”. This state is famous for its own indigenous style of dyeing and weaving.

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Photo Source: Instagram.com/utkalamrita

The traditional hand-woven Ikat (also known as baandha) is an age-old art-form of Odisha. It is a geographically tagged product of Odisha since 2007. This is practiced in a lot of parts of this state including Sambalpur, Sonepur, Bargarh and Nuapada.

The Ikat is of various types like the Sonepuri silk, Pasapalli, Bomkai, Katki and Bapta sarees. It is made through a process of tie-dying the warp and weft threads to create the design on the loom prior to weaving.

  • Single Ikat: One of warp/weft is tied and dyed pre-weaving.
  • Double Ikat: Both warp and weft are tied and dyed pre-weaving.
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After industrialization, the handloom sectors are suffering a lot. These age-old art-forms are dying out and the weavers and artisans, who are still practicing, aren’t paid well. Even a lot of people ignore the richness of these textiles.

But recently, a lot of people have started taking interests in the handloom. Even some designers have taken initiatives to revive the traditional Ikat and provide it a contemporary look, showcasing its diversity. This also helps the weavers as they get the recognition they deserve and are able to earn their livelihood. Now, not just sarees, but we can also see beautiful dresses, crop tops, jackets and trendy skirts made out of Ikat fabric.

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2 comments

Samarendranath Mahapatra June 29, 2019 - 2:31 pm

Very interesting and informative.

Ravi Taneja July 7, 2019 - 2:06 am

Nicely written, great to know about this culture

Comments are closed.