A Sambalpuri sari is a traditional hand woven knitted fabric of Odisha. The important raw material used in weaving a Sambalpuri sari is cotton and the texture of the fabric varies upon the wrap and weft yarns used for weaving. It is mainly made in Bargarh, Sonepur, Sambalpur, Balangir and Boudh district of Odisha.
The unique design of Sambalpuri sarees highlights the traditional craftsmanship of the ‘Bandhakala’ or the Tie – dye art. In this technique, the yarns are tied according to the desired pattern for absorption of dyes and then dyed in different colours. Once the yarns are dyed they can never be bleached into another colour. This technique enables a weaver to weave colourful designs, images and patterns into the fabric which are almost identical on both sides of the fabric.
There are many varieties of Sambalpuri sarees, that are made in Odisha which includes Sonepuri, Pasapali, Bonkai, Barpali and Bapta. Most of them are named after their places of origin and are popularly known as Pata.
Sambalpuri sarees are used in various ceremonial occasions, the motifs of the Sambalpuri sarees symbolizes prosperity and fertility. Conch shell, fish, deer, butterfly and stars are widely used motifs, which are mostly derived from mythology.