National Level Handloom Expo: Odisha Tassar Fabric

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Bhubaneswar: Odisha has a rich tradition of Handloom products especially, the Odisha ‘Tie & dye” (Ikat) fabrics. Ikat fabrics are commonly known as “Bandha” fabrics. For weaving of the Ikat fabrics, initially the warp or weft or both are tied and then dyed before weaving to create designs on the fabrics, which appear exactly the same on both side of the fabrics. But in printed fabrics designs are developed on one side of the woven fabrics and the motifs mostly appear on one side of the fabrics.

There are two types of Ikat fabrics. One is single Ikat where the fabrics are woven with tie & dye design either on warp or weft. Other is double Ikat where fabrics are woven with tie and dye design on both the warp and weft. Nuapatna in Cuttack district and Bargarh & Sonepur are the major handloom clusters for production of IKat fabrics in Odisha. One of the most popular motifs used in fabrics of Nuapatna area is the elephant (Gaja) particularly in Khandua and it is used during marriage time as bridal wear. Large and small stars, elephants, deers, parrots, Naba gunjar, lotus and other flowers, creepers, kumbha, danti patterns have been used since long in Silk and Cotton fabrics.

Among all tie & dye fabrics, Khandua Silk Sarees of Nuapatna village in
Cuttack district are very famous in all over India for its excellent workmanship,
design and colour combination. The handwoven silk, cotton and tassar tie & dye
fabrics are one of the major activities in the Nuapatna area of Athgarh subdivision in Cuttack district of Odisha. The art of weaving of Nuapatna is morethan 800 years old and is linked with temple of Lord Jagannath at Puri as few weavers, specially weave Khandua silk fabrics of special design with extra large
specification as ritual dresses for Lord Jagannath, Bala bhadra & Subhadra. The
colour combination of these tie & dye sarees exhibit the ethical sense of life.
Yellow coloured Ikat fabrics are woven for Lord Jagannath which symbolize
salvation, green khandua for Balabhadra symbolizes life & peace and red khandua
fabrics for Subhadra signifying power or sakti. It is so called “Khandua” because
early days most people were not financially sound to offer full length of a saree to deities. They were offering Gita Govinda Saree in pieces. Piece means “Khand” in Odia. From Khand, it become popular as Khandua.

It is believed that during 12 century AD, Jayadev the famous poet desired
to offer Gita Govinda to Lord Jagannath written on a silk fabrics with tie & dye
technique.

It was developed by the weavers of Nuapatna in Khandua Silk with the
script of lyrics of Gita Govinda by using tie & dye, which Jayadev offered to three deities. Devotees offer Khandua Silk saree to Lord Jagannath for different Besa.

Hence, Khandua Silk is closely related with the Jagannath cult.
Khandua Sarees are woven with bold motifs of elephants, lions, deers, lotus
& creepers in bright acid colour in tie and dye. Some special weavers of Nuapatna
are producing calligraphy on the fabrics with Gita Govinda and Das(Ten) Avatar.
During production of these fabrics they observe strictly some principles like
fasting and not taking non-vegetable food as it is clearly related with spiritual
activities.
Khandua design is basically a weft ikat and weaves on cotton silk and
tassar sarees, dress material and wall hanging. Natural flower and animal motifs
are used in production of Khandua. Prominent colour like- Red, black, yellow,
green, blue, marron and white are used for Khandua.
Initially Khandua Silk was originated from the Nuapatna village but with
the increase in demand for the product, more & more weavers from the adjacent
areas also adopted weaving of Khandua Sarees and fabrics. Like khandua silk
sarees, Nabakothari & Tarabali are the famous traditional tie & dye fabrics of
Nuapatna areas. Besides, the traditional silk saree, presently silk sarees are
produced in Nuapatna areas with light and pestle colour with different new
modern motifs which are appreciated among the customers as “Khandua Sarees”.
Khandua Silk Sarees are also produced with natural colours. The weavers
producing khandua silk fabrics are generally selling their products through weaver
cooperative societies, SHG & master weavers. Boyanika, Utkalika, Serifed &
Sambalpuri Bastralaya are purchasing Khandua Silk and selling through its
outlets. Hence, weavers are not facing problem in marketing their products. State
Govt. as well as Central Govt. is providing govt. assistance to the weavers for their
socio-economic development.

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