Posts filed under ‘Handloom cluster of Bargarh’

Different sarees and handloom products from western Odisha

Sonepuri bandha:: Manufactured in Subalaya-Birmaharajpur-Ulunda-Sonepur area, Subarnapur district.

Bomkai:: Manufactured in Subalaya-Birmaharajpur-Ulunda-Sonepur area, Subarnapur district.

Pasapali (Sambalpuri bandha):: Manufactured in Bargarh and Sambalpur districts.

Habaspuri:: Manufactured in Kalahandi and Nuapada districts.

Kotapada:: Manufactured in Koraput district.

Saree

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April 7, 2017 at 9:11 pm Leave a comment

Shilpiguru Padmasri Kunjabihari Meher: The Weaving Legend

Click on the following graphic to see the complete FB album of  Padmasri Kunjabihari Meher (Thanks to Saket for uploading the pictures):

 

September 15, 2012 at 7:43 am Leave a comment

western Odisha handloom industry struggles to survive

Following is from the Telegraph:

Bhubaneswar, May 27: The state-run handloom industry is struggling for survival and lags behind in popularising the indigenous patterns and fabrics of Odisha whereas private players are doing roaring business.

The plight of weavers, who cater to government textile organisations and many of who have quit their hereditary profession in the past few years because of financial pressures, reflects the fact.

Sonepur, the hub of Sambalpuri textile materials in western Odisha, is home to at least 50,000 weavers. But, absence of an organised market has pushed them into a state of misery. The weavers’ co-operative society, which used to look after the community, is now non-existent in Sonepur while the Odisha State Handloom Development Corporation has been shut down since 2001 and its 500-odd employees continue to struggle for their outstanding wages.

The condition of weavers in Sambalpur district is no better. Lack of proper support from the government and the soaring price of yarn have forced several weavers to quit their traditional profession. “The number of weavers in the state has decreased remarkably. Several weavers are quitting their traditional profession,” said Manabhanjan Meher, advisor to the local weavers’ society, Nikhila Odisha Meher (Bhulia) Samaj.

“One cannot think of supporting his family by weaving alone now. Hence, several weavers are giving up their traditional profession. There were 40 looms at Badbazar. But, a majority of the weavers gave up this profession. Now, there are only three looms at Badbazar,” he added. The government should take steps for controlling the price of the yarn to save the weavers, he said.

The state handloom and textile department said Odisha had 43,652 looms being run by 1,92,339 weavers. Of them, 86,355 weavers operate under 526 weaver co-operative societies and 18,154 are organised under the 1,511 self-help groups.

The weavers, who are not covered under co-operative societies, find it hard to run the profession because of inadequate wages, rise in price of yarn and absence of an organised market.

“I have to depend upon the sahukars (intermediate tradesmen), who supply me with the raw materials such as yarn, dye, and later in turn, take away the finished product from me. While the sahukars enjoy good profit by selling the product, I am paid a meagre wage,” said Parameswar Meher, a weaver of Ranipur village in Sonepur. Parameswar said the wage he got was meagre considering the fact that it took at least 15 to 20 days to weave a sari. “All my family members are engaged when I weave a sari. It takes at least 15 to 20 days to weave a sari and I get only about Rs 2,000 as my wage,” he said.

Rama Meher, another weaver of Kendupali village in Sonepur said it was difficult for him to run his family with the weaving profession. “I have to look for something else now to feed my family since our ancient profession of weaving is not enough for a livelihood. Many in the village have already quit the profession and are doing better as skilled labourers,” he said.

Internationally acclaimed Padmashree Chaturbhuj Meher, who established the well-known handloom store Meher’s that has among its clients President Pratibha Patil, film star Jaya Bacchan and many international cricketers, said the Sambalpuri textile had a huge market. But, there had to be right policies by the government to develop this market, he said.

“With the adoption of new technology such as the Jacquard loom, the weavers now weave more exquisite textile materials, but they don’t get the right price for it. While the independent weavers have to market their product themselves by travelling to the big cities, the others, who are not financially sound, have to depend upon the sahukars who exploit them,” he said.

Management head of the Meher’s Gouranga Patra said the government-run handloom organisation Utkalika was the reason behind quitting of weaving by around 300 artisans.

“It was doing good business, but in the 80’s, the management there was corrupt and they did not repay the weavers, who had taken huge loans to give Utkalika their consignments. This caused a permanent damage to the handloom industry in the state,” sai Patra.

He said the government could take up initiatives in giving weavers promotion to improve the scenario. “Once a weaver has expertise at a certain design or pattern, he should be given promotion by being assigned to work on a more intricate design and a costlier fabric, so he ultimately earns more and also acquires skills. We have around 3,000 weavers working for us this way and they are doing very well economically,” he said.

Last year, the department of handloom invited well-known designers from all over the country to promote the patterns of Odisha at their fashion shows. But, there are other important things to be looked at, feel experts.

“What our handloom industry needs now is better marketing strategies and design innovations. We could experiment with our patterns and add more creativity to suit the international market. Our silk and cotton fabrics are so rich that there is great demand of the Odisha fabric throughout the world. We must capitalise on it. I use it in my creations and get great response world over,” said well-known fashion designer Pritam Panda.

Officials of the state handloom and textile department said the state government was taking all steps for the development of the handloom units and weavers. Chief minister Naveen Patnaik has announced a special package for the handloom weavers that includes infrastructure development, capacity building of the weavers, intervention of modern technologies and marketing promotion. Naveen will inaugurate an exhibition of Odisha handloom products in London next week to showcase fabrics from the state.

“The handlooms production in Odisha during 2011-12 was to the tune of Rs 180 crore because of sustained efforts of the state government,” said a senior official.

Two major co-operative bodies — the Odisha State Handloom Weavers Co-operative Society (popularly known as Boyanika) and Sambalpuri Vastralaya — have significantly improved their performance. The sales turn over of Boyanika was Rs 52.62 crore in 2011-12 and it earned a profit of Rs 1.13 crore in 2010-11. Similarly, Sambalpuri Vastralaya had made a turn over to the tune of Rs 20 crore in the same year, said the official.

As Odisha’s textile products are facing the problem of duplicated products outside the state, the government has registered two textile items (Odisha ikat and Kotpad handloom fabrics) with the Geographical Indication Registry (kind of patenting at Chennai under the Union commerce ministry.

Five more indigenous and exclusive products of Odisha — Sambalpuri bandha, Sonepuri Bomkai, Dhalapathar screen, Habaspuri sari and Berhampuri patta and jodo — were in the pipeline, said the officials.

May 28, 2012 at 1:32 pm 1 comment

Govt. to set up an Ikat Handloom Park in Bargarh district

Following report is from expressbuzz.com:

BHUBANESWAR: Despite having finest designs and tremendous market potential, bottlenecks such as low productivity, decentralised production and lack of aggressive marketing strategies have come in the way of the State’s handloom sector. This notwithstanding, the handloom sector has the largest rural self-employment potential next to agriculture in the State. Odisha is home to around 1.30 lakh artisans and two lakh weavers.  To give a boost to the sector and address the shortcomings, the State Government has initiated a series of special measures.

The Government is helping the sector by developing clusters, through group approach and by providing financial and infrastructure assistance among others.  As per the State Plan for Promotion of Handloom Sector, the Textile and Handloom Department has started providing 100 per cent infrastructure assistance and 90 per cent financial aid for technological interventions to the weavers.  The Government has also implemented a Centrally-sponsored scheme __ Integrated Handloom Development Scheme. It aims at facilitating sustainable development of handloom  weavers, located in identified handloom clusters, into a cohesive, self- managing and competitive group. Under the Scheme, the Department has taken up cluster development approach that focuses on formation of weavers’ groups as a visible entity so that the groups become self-sustainable. Of the 52 clusters identified in the country in the last three years, the Centre has approved the highest number of 35 clusters in the State. Each cluster covers 300 to 500 handlooms. Another initiative under the Scheme is group approach to help handloom weavers who are not covered by clusters.

The Centre has so far recognised 91 such groups in the State. Sources said steps are being taken to set up a Sambalpuri Ikat Handloom Park in Bargarh district which has the biggest handloom cluster in the State. The park is reportedly coming up on Bijepur-Barpali route and as many as 100 stakeholders, mostly comprising master weavers, have joined hands for the project. This would help in capacity building of the weavers and also teach weaving to the people of non-weaver communities. “This apart, we have a design studio coming up near SIDAC complex at Gandamunda here and efforts are also on to set up a handloom and handicraft museum in the City,” said Director of Textiles B C Mohapatra while talking to this paper.

December 14, 2011 at 4:10 pm 1 comment

Orissa government to set up sericulture R&D Institute

Following is a PTI report:

Bhubaneswar, Apr 15 (PTI) Targeting a production of about 500 tons of silk by 2020, the Orissa government today said it would set up a research and development centre for speedy growth of the sector.

“Sericulture has a vast potential in the state. It should be utilised to provide livelihood to tribals and backward caste people… the government would set up State Sericulture Research and Development Institute for proper management and growth of the sector,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said at a workshop on sericulture management here.

Though present growth rate of silk industry in India is about eight per cent, demand for the fabric is growing at 10 per cent, Handloom and Handicraft Minister Anjali Behera said.

While 10,000 weavers in the state need 500 tons of silk, Orissa produces only 81 tons. “The need is to strengthen the sector to fill the gap,” the minister said.

April 15, 2010 at 5:46 pm 1 comment

Odisha Govt. okays five-year perspective plan for the handloom and textile sector

Following is a report from The Pioneer:

The State Government on Friday finalised a five-year perspective plan for the handloom and textile sector. It put stress on the welfare of the weavers and giving marketing linkage to their products.

A decision to this effect was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the State Secretariat.

About Rs 182.73 crore would be spent in these sectors in the next five years.

It was decided that emphasis would be given on the disbursement of loans to the weavers. More Women Self-Help Group would be involved in all these programmes. Handloom culture would be set up. Discussions were also held on creating a pension fund for those weavers who have already crossed 60 years.

In a bid to provide the necessary raw material to the weavers, he said 353 common facility centres would come up across the State with an investment of Rs 11.80 crore.

Steps would be taken to invite more investment in the field of handloom and textiles

January 30, 2010 at 7:53 pm Leave a comment

Bargarh and Sonepur among the 20 pilot handloom clusters of India

Following map is taken from http://www.indianhandloomscluster-dchl.net/index.asp.

Handloom

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Baragarh cluster: http://www.indianhandloomscluster-dchl.net/Bargarh

Bargarh Handloom cluster is spread over the entire Block of Bargarh, Attabira, Bijepur and Sohella. The cluster has 7158 numbers of looms as per the survey report of the zonal Handloom office taken up during the year 2004 out of which 5102 looms are working in 299 different villages. The main products of the cluster are cotton sarees of tie and dye and small amount of dress materials, lungis and napkins etc. The annual production is around 10 Crores rupees. The products of this area are mostly marketed in Orissa and National market. The cluster so to say represents Orissa in quantitative and qualitative Tie and Dye Cotton Sarees as no other clusters of other districts in Orissa produces such sarees.

… The weaving in the cluster by the traditional weavers’ community popularly known as “Bhulia” came in to existence during mid of 17th  century and with increase in their population, they spread to other nearby places. They initially belong to Rajasthan and were presented during the 14th  century to the ruler of Patna State, a king of Chouhan dynasty “Ramai Deb”. Later on they were presented to the king of Sonepur during the 16th  century and scattered to the nearby district i.e., Bargarh in the next century.

The cluster consists sizable number of professional weavers (Non traditional) from Schedule Caste and  Schedule Tribe (Kuli caste) weavers, which in total accounts for 60 %. Generally these weavers are less skilled and engaged in production of Napkin, Lungi,  Sarees, Dhotis, etc.

Weaving with Tie dye in the cluster prior to 40”s was done with 40”/42” looms operated with hanging slay and engaged in producing Kapta, Lungi and Napkins made of 12’s/16’s/20’s cotton yarn. The yarns were dyed with vegetable colours. The main colours were Yellow (from Turmeric), Maroon (From bark of Aal tree), Blue form Nile and Black (From Hirakasi and Chakda Seeds). Fabrics of vegetable colours were sometimes not fast and ranges of colours were also limited, forcing the Tie-Dye production in to limited colours and so also the design. Such practice was on vogue till the mid of 40s when vat colour was first substituted for in place   of some vegetable colours.

The next major changes in the cluster took place with the introduction of twisted cotton mercerized yarn and synthetic colours in the early 60’s. The looms started widening mainly to 52″ width for normal sarees and other production and 90″ for double bed sheet production. There were also few 60” / 72″ looms to accommodate weaving of middle-sized bed sheets.

Activities in the cluster started taking momentum with the involvement of Late Padmashree Dr. Krutartha Acharya and his four associates in the cluster area during 1942 and started their business with production on limited numbers of looms. Later he converted his business in to a co operative society named Sambalpuri Bastralaya, registered during the year 1954 under “Bihar and Orissa Co operative Societies Act” and established in Bargarh town. This is the first firm in the cluster, which took the leadership in weaving activities of cluster and stood as a milestone in its history.

… Unlike the Tie-Dye work of other states of India, the motif and designs of the cluster are infinite in number and every motif or design is categorized under a special caption. No design is let out without giving it a name. It shows the creative mind of the weavers of the region.

Sonepur cluster: http://www.indianhandloomscluster-dchl.net/Sonepur/Index.asp.

The writing in the stones of Kahandagiri cave Orissa suggests that the art of weaving was in Orissa before 600 B.C. Similarly some carving in the temples of Sonepur cluster (Baidyanath) indicates that weaving was in existence in the area during prior to 9th B.C. Besides weaving with cotton yarn, there was also weaving with wild silk (Tassar), wool and fibers from stem of lotus. The tie-dye weaving in western Orissa came in to existence during mid of 14th century when 100 weaver’s families were brought from Raipur area of Madhya Pradesh by the then ruler of Patnagarh Sri Ramai Dev. The weavers’ later on titled as Meher and their caste known as Bhulia. Such weavers were traditionally weaving the tie and dye fabrics. Orissa has also history of exporting handloom to south-east Asia countries like Thailand, Java, Borrneo and Sumatra (Last three are Island of Indonesia) during pre-independence period in sea route. It is therefore also the bank of river Mahanadi and some other big river of Orissa has developed weaving culture.

The Bomkai Designs are the traditional designs in production in the village named Bomkai in Ganjam District of Orissa. Latter on it is introduced in Sonepur. Before 1950’s the main product mix of this cluster was cotton sari and Dhotis. The main occupation of “Bhulia” community was weavings. Weavers had looms of short width and they used to weave cotton sari of length 12ft and its width was 36 inches. During that period, cotton yarn of (10 to 40) counts were available in the market.

Weavers by own used to sell woven sari at nearby locally market and whatever they got remuneration by selling the sari, they used to brought yarn for further weaving. During this period, due to absence of chemical dyes, mainly vegetable dye was used to dye the yarn. Vegetable dye had limited colours i,e yellow (From Turmeric), Maroon (From bark of Aal trees), Blue (Nile) and black (Hirakasi and Chakda seeds). The colour of vegetable dyes was not fast in the fabrics. The vegetable dye has limited ranges of colour that limit the design of tie & dye fabrics. During mid of 1950’s the late Padamshree Sri Kruthartha Acharya was the up-coming entrepreneur in handloom sector. He was belonging to Bargarh sub-division which was neighbouring district of Sonepur. He had installed 200 looms at Sonepur and established a unit for producing handloom sarees. During mid of 1960’s, lots of modifications were done to upgrade the handloom sector of Sonepur. The widths of looms were widening up to (48 to 50) inches; mercerized yarns of finer quality (60 counts) were introduced. Shri Kruthartha Acharya also introduced chemical dyes. Many weavers were trained to adopt the change. Due to introduction of chemical dye, the ranges of colour shed were increased which helps the weavers to produce variety of design in tie and dye fabrics. Slowly other weavers of the cluster adopted the new technology. Dr Acharya also searched other market by promoting the Sonepur product in other States by participating in exhibition and fair conducted by handloom department, Govt. of India. He also used to purchase the woven sari from weaver and used to supply raw materials and design to them. This helped the weavers to only concentrate on production work instead of marketing the products. Latter on during 1954, Dr. Achaya converted his firm into cooperative society named Sambalpuri Bastrayala Handloom Cooperative Society Ltd, Bargarh, which is at present stand as a leading PWCS of not only the State but also of the country. During mid Seventies G.O.O. initiated a corporation called Orissa Handloom Development Corporation which grew and decayed in two decades and has been liquidated recently. The other major changes taken place in the cluster was introduction of silk yarn in early 1980’s. The body part of silk fabric was woven with silk yarn and Anchal by cotton tie and dye. It took two – three years to develop Jala design which helped the weaver to design the fabric in simple way. This Bomkai design were developed in the late 80’s and introduced in early 1990’s in the cluster. Since then, the permutation and combination of designs involving in tie-dye, Bomkai, Jala etc are practicing in the cluster. Latter on Body design was also developed to make the fabric more attractive and Zari were used to add value to the fabric. Weaver co-operative societies were the major firms operating in the handloom sectors. These societies were large in number during mid of 90’s. The entry of private entrepreneurs and private traders started from 1980’s. Padamshri Chaturbhuj Meher had entered in this sector in early 1980’s and had great contribution in this sector. On the other hand gradual reduce in the Government subsidies, declining support from apex WCS, closure of Handloom Development corporation and mismanagement at the primary wcs level are the main reasons of reduction in the number of active co-operative societies. Unlike the Tie-Dye work in the other part of India, the motif and design of the cluster are infinite in number and every motif or design is characterized under a special caption. No design is let out without giving it a name. It shows the creative mind of the weavers of region. Orissa had 129236 (1951), 119005 (1987) and 92869 (1996) as per the handloom figure census, which shows the continuous decline in the loom position. The total looms in Sonepur district is 7243 (As per the survey conducted by ADT office Sonepur). The product mixes are cotton sari, silk sari and dress material. The total production of the cluster in the Co-Operative Sector is Rs 985.46 lacs.

December 3, 2009 at 9:48 am 1 comment


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