Posts filed under ‘Handloom Cluster of Subarnapur’
The Bomkai saree, one of the traditional sarees of east India are created by the adept artisans who excellently define the tradition and culture of India by the simple work of needle. The traditional figured saree from the southern Orissan coastal plains is the Bomkai saree. This saree is named after the vilaage where it was discovered in early 1980s.
Sonepur is located in the western part of Orissa. Sonepur hand loom woven sarees and dress material are known for their unique “Bomkai” designs locally known as “Bandha” design. This Bomkai design on the fabric (especially on Sarees) is developed by using Jala technique on handloom.
HISTORY OF BOMKAI SAREE
The art of weaving has been existing in this part of Orissa since 600 B.C. The scriptures in the caves of Khandagiri reveal this. By late 1980s, this hand loom cluster had begun specializing in silk weaving especially the Bomkai design (locally known as Bandha Design) without using any extra shedding mechanism like Jacquard and Dobby.
The artisan of the locality used to create Bomkai sarees since the commencement period of the fabric. It was originally made for the local maharaja, aristocracy and Bhramins of the chikiti tahsilm of the ganjam district.
PROCESS AND TECHNIQUE
The Bomkai design both the warp and weft is dyed according to the requirement. For border design, warp alone is processed, while for Palavas and anchal of sarees, weft is processed and overall saree designs, both the warp and weft are processed.
Orissa still uses the traditional jaalas for weaving Bomkai. Wooden jaalas are used and are tied the traditional way by jaala bandhaks (weavers). The technique is in itself a furthering of the tie and dye technique. In case of Bomkai, the yarn is tie dyed but the focus is not on patterns which emerge out of tying and dyeing. It is used to get the contrast colours in the saree. So, a pallav or border may have a solid dyed block or can be double shaded. The ornamentation is worked using the extra weft technique or jaala system which gives the tapestry that kind of look. The borders are woven using what most weavers refer to as phool bandhaks which flow on the designs on the border. The double shades of the saree, the border and the pallavs are worked on the basis of colour combinations. Once the dyed yarn is fitted in the pattern is worked using extra weft technique. This gives saree an almost woven, carpet like effect.
Recent innovations include the introduction of zari threads in weaving. While earlier the entire design was done in thread work with cotton or silk yarn as the fabric base. Nowadays, the saris are woven in both cotton and silk with brilliantly created angular discontinuous supplementary-weft patterns woven in the end-piece in contrasring colours.
The Bomkai cotton saris have been influenced by tribal art, and are embroidered with temple spire patterns on the border.
Bomkai sarees feature threadwork ornament borders. The supplementary bands are not woven in progressive order from large to small or vice versa, but are woven according to the choice of the weaver. Yet despite all the work in the endpiece, it is the supplementary – wrap patterns of the border that give these sarees their name. Some of border motifs are:
• MITKTA PANJI A broad band of supplementary-wrap patterning called the “ mitkta panji”, forming a latticework of small diamond shapes is the most popular border.
• TEMPLE A row of temple spires which pretty much look like triangles is also a signature border of bomkai sarees.
• KUMBHA A row of kumbha spires is favourite border motifs.
• RUDRAKSHA The motifs in the borders include ubiquitous rudraksha or bead motifs.
• FLORAL The florals and even plain bootis are also found.
Bomkai patterns are hand woven from gold or silver colored silk threads. They embellish pallu of a saree. The sarees are brilliantly created with angular discountinous supplementary-weft patterns adhere to the traditional tribal motif of orissa, which includes geometric designs, birds, elephant and flowers. Other patters have such names as rukha (pestle, stick), dombaru (small hourglass-shaped drum), kanthi phoola (small flower) and karela (bitter gourd), shankha, peacock and fish.
FLAURA AND FAUNA
The motifs used are kanthiphula, Atasi flower, lotus and flies, birds, peacock, fish, elephants, ducks etc. in geometrical forms.
PEACOCK – It represents a symbol of rebirth in the mythology of Hinduism, Buddhism and islam. In Hinduism, the image of the god of thunder, rains and war – Indra- is depicted in form of peacock. In India, it is also a symbol of love.
FISH – It symbolizes prosperity and good health
CHARACTERISTIC AND UNIQUENESS
The speciality of bomkai is the contrast border and heavy designs on the pallavs, while the blouses are again in contrast colours. Since, oriya sarees have close relation with jagannath culture, the four basic colours which commonly found on jagannath – black, white, red and yellow – is extensively used in oriya sarees and Bomkai is no exception.
It is the design and colour palette that makes Bomkai stand out. The vibrancy of colour combination especially contrst colours are rarely seen elsewhere. Double shaded borders vie with single solid colour borders and this is the signature of Bomkai sarees.
The contrast colours are beautiful such as yellow interspersed with black and a green border or peacock blue competing with golden border.the borders and pallav can be doubl shaded. It is the sheer contrast and eye catching colours which stand out such as grey teamed with a brilliant red, black with glazing golden border and pallav.
Few more links to Sonepuri Saree:
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.
Following report is from The Samaj:
|NRDC has been registered under society registration act 1860 on 2nd January 1995 having No.-51/59.|
|Organisation Value :|
|Operational Area :|
NRDC has been working in Subarnapur KBK district along with adjecent Boudh, Bolangir and Deogarh district of Orissa. The target people are specially women SHGs groups, Rural artisan, Craftsman, Weavers, unemployed youths.
|Mission & Vision :|
|Executive Board :|
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.
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
Following map is taken from http://www.indianhandloomscluster-dchl.net/images/Map%20of%2020%20cluster.jpg
- Sonepur and Bargarh are underlined in the map