Sambalpuri Saree: Exciting Facts You Should Know (With Tips)

Sambalpuri Saree

Sambalpuri saree is the pride of Odisha, India. It represents Odia culture by incorporating traditional motifs like shells, wheels, and flowers.


The nine-yard handwoven saree is widely popular because of its unique style and traditional artwork.


Weavers pour their sweat and blood to craft different designs on this saree. Basically, all the designs are taken from Odisha’s three major temples, Jagannath Temple, Konark Sun Temple, and Lingaraj Temple as inspiration.

Let’s dive in to know more.

Sambalpuri saree

It is a nine-yard-long women’s cloth produced in specific districts of Odisha like Sambalpur, Balangir, Bargarh, Boudh, and Sonepur.

This saree is made from hand-woven fabric incorporated with traditional motifs like shells, flowers, drums, fish, and peacocks. Red, black, and white are the three colors mostly found in the background of sarees.

Historical Background of Sambalpuri Saree

This saree is crafted using a unique technique called “Bandha”. The bandha is defined as the length of properly arranged yarn. It is dyed as per the previously set design in a way that a weaver can depict the design when the yarn is turned into a fabric.

It is believed that this art of making sarees was developed by Bhulia community. And this community fled Northern India in the year 1192 AD after the fall of the Chouhan Empire.

This art thrived up to the year 1925 in Western Odisha with a few designs and colors. As per the name of Bhulia community, these sarees had their ancient name ‘Bhulia-Kapta’.

Today Bandha fabric is more refined and attractive than its ancient form. And it’s due to the effort of many talented craftsmen like Sri Radhashyam Meher, Padmashree Kailash Chandra Meher, Padmashree Kunja Bihari Meher, Padmashree Chatrubhuja Meher, and Padmashree Krutharth Acharya.

Sri Radhashyam Meher is the first person who put his heart and soul into Bandhakala art and developed brilliant designs. He also motivated the weaving community to improve their skills by providing the required training and incentives to make the Baandha kala art the pride of Odisha.

How is Sambalpuri Saree Made?

The process of making Sambalpuri saree includes 4 steps:

  • Yarn Tying
  • Dyeing/Coloring
  • Warp/Weft
  • Weaving
    • The cotton yarn is tied against a wooden frame called charka. As per the design weavers mark the threads.
    • The second step includes dyeing the yarn. The marked areas are tied to prevent them from dying. When the yarns are dyed, the weavers open the first set of knots. Then, another layer of tying and dyeing is undertaken. This process is repeated several times to develop multiple colors.
    • Then the threads undergo a process, known as warp and weft. Warp and weft are the knitting terms related to the length and width of threads. Lengthwise yarns are termed ‘warp’, whereas widthwise or crosswise yarns are termed ‘weft’.
    • In this process, the threads are measured as per the required length of the fabric. The wrap threads are then knotted to the previous ones in the loom to start the process of weaving.
    • The weaving process is the most hectic stage for the weaver’s family. All the family members get involved in the weaving job to weave a saree faster.

What is Sambalpuri Ikat?

“Sambalpuri Ikat” is also known as “Sambalpuri bandha”, a traditional method of creating patterns in fabric by tie-dyeing the yarn before weaving. 

The bandhakala is popular in many districts of Odisha, like Sambalpur, Sonepur, Balangir, Bargarh, and Boudh.

What is the Specialty of Sambalpuri Saree?

The Speciality of this saree is, it is decorated with traditional motifs like shells, wheels, flowers, peacocks, and trees. And these are reflected in three main colors Red, Black, and White. But today they are available in many colors.

Another important thing about this saree is that it is made using the ‘Bandhakala’ technique’ also known as “Ikat”. In this technique, threads are tie-dyed before the process of weaving.     

These sarees have a specialty in their border and pallus. They’ve exquisite designs and contrasting colors making the saree more alluring.      


These sarees are of various types named as per the region where they are produced.

Sambalpuri Silk Saree

Silk sarees are the most elegant among all other sarees.

These sarees are lightweight, breathable, and provide a glossy look.

They’re available in different silk threads like Pure silk, Mulberry silk, or Tussar silk.

They’ve amazing designs on their border and pallus such as wheels, temples, flowers, peacocks, etc.

It will give you a luxurious look and make you stand out at parties, functions, and weddings.

Sambalpuri Cotton Saree

They are light, comfortable, and suitable for summer wear.

Sambalpuri cotton Ikat is very popular among middle-aged women for official and daily use. Because it is easy to wear, gives a nice and comfortable feeling.

Sambalpuri Pata Saree

Pata sarees are the costliest among all other Sambalpuri sarees. Due to its high-quality yarn, this saree gives a sparkling look.

These sarees have various names like Sonepuri, Pasapali, Bomkai, Barpali, and Bapta sarees.

The designs and color combinations of pata sarees are breathtaking.

Sambalpuri Bomkai Saree

The Bomkai saree originated in the Bomkai village in the Ganjam district of Odisha. It is also known as the Sonepuri saree because it was introduced in Sonepur later on.

These sarees come in modern designs with tribal patterns. The vibrant color and traditional motifs on the border and pallu make the saree more attractive.

These sarees are available both in cotton and silk suitable for all seasons wear.

Sambalpuri Ikat Saree

These types of sarees are produced using double ikat. Because in this process motifs are visible on both sides of the saree. No need for extra effort and yarn.

These sarees have motifs inspired by mythology, beliefs, temples, nature, and ancient geometric shapes.

Sambalpuri Pasapalli Saree

Pasapalli saree is a traditional handloom saree weaved using the bandha or ikat technique. It is produced in the Bargarh district of Odisha, India.

The term ‘Pasapalli’ is derived from the word ‘Pasa’ which means gambling games with Chessboard. And ‘Palli’ means the print on pallu. These sarees have complicated check patterns of contrasting colors looking like the chess board.

This saree takes a long time usually 3-4 weeks, to get its complete form.

How to Take Care of Sambalpuri Sarees?

Simple Tips for Long-Life of Saree

  • Soak the saree in plain water for 5-10 minutes. If possible avoid detergent for the first two washes.
  • Use good quality mild detergent to hand wash your handloom sarees.
  • In case of stains, wash with cold water immediately, else dry clean it.
  • Never use bleach, or any harsh chemicals to remove stains.
  • Don’t soak your saree in detergent for a long time.
  • Handloom sarees are very delicate, so never put it in a washing machine.
  • Never dry your saree in direct sunlight as it will damage your fabric as well as fade the dyes.
  • To remove bad odor, light-iron your saree on low heat. Don’t forget to put a thin cotton cloth over your saree while ironing it. It will keep your saree safe.
  • For storing, use hangers to keep your saree wrinkle-free.
  • You can store it folded in your wardrobe but make sure not to club it with other sarees. Else the embellishment may get damaged.
  • Again, change the foldings of these sarees every 3 months to avoid weakening of the folded part.

Bottom Line

Sambalpuri saree is not just a saree, it represents Odisha’s culture and traditions. Its unique designs and bright colors provide an extraordinary look to all women who wear it.

Got all the information about this saree?

If you love to wear a saree, why not a Sambalpuri saree?

Your one order will bring a smile to the weaver’s face. Support them to preserve this art forever.

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