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The Cultural Significance behind Bomkai Saree Weaves in Orissa

The intricate patterns, vibrant colors, and unique texture of Bomkai sarees have captured the hearts of Indian women for centuries. But beyond their aesthetic appeal lies a rich cultural significance that has been woven into every thread. Originating from the beautiful state of Orissa, these sarees boast a captivating history that reflects the region’s glorious past and deep-rooted traditions.

Introduction to Bomkai Sarees

The Bomkai saree is a traditional weave from the Orissa region of India. The saree is characterized by its intricate patterns and colorful design. The saree is traditionally made of silk, but nowadays, it is also available in cotton and other fabrics. The Bomkai saree is usually adorned with gold or silver jewelry. The saree is considered to be a symbol of Orissa’s culture and heritage.

The Bomkai saree is believed to have originated in the 9th century. It is named after the town of Bomkai in Orissa, where the weaving tradition originated. The sarees were initially only worn by royalty and nobles, but over time they became more accessible to the general public. Today, the Bomkai saree is still considered to be a symbol of Orissa’s culture and heritage.

The Bomkai saree is an essential part of Orissa’s cultural identity. The saree’s intricate designs and colors represent Orissa’s rich history and traditions. The saree reminds of Orissa’s unique place in India’s cultural landscape.

History of Bomkai Weaves in Orissa

The craft of bomkai weaving is believed to have originated in Sambalpur, once a part of the kingdom of Orissa. It is said that the first bomkai sarees were woven by the women of the royal household of Sambalpur, using fine silk thread and gold Zari. The sarees were then gifted to the brides of important nobles and royals, symbolizing their status and wealth.

Over time, the craft spread to other parts of Orissa and eventually became known as ‘Bomkai,’ which means ‘the embroidered saree’ in Oriya. The word ‘bomkai’ is also thought to be derived from ‘Bombal’, another name for Sambalpur. The distinctive style of Bomkai weaving is characterized by its use of intricate geometric patterns, often inspired by nature or religious motifs.

Bomkai sarees are traditionally made from silk or cotton fabric, which is then hand-embroidered with colorful threads using various stitching techniques. The most commonly used stitches are ‘kantha’ (running stitch) and ‘chikan’ (chain stitch). The embroidery is usually done on the pallu (border) and dupatta.

What Makes Bomkai Sarees Unique?

Bomkai sarees are a traditional Orissan textile craft renowned for their intricate and beautiful designs. The Bomkai weaving technique is unique to the region and results in eye-catching and durable sarees.

The most distinctive feature of Bomkai sarees is their use of colorful yarns in the weft. This gives the sarees a vibrant and glossy appearance, unlike any other Indian textile. The threads used in the weft are also much finer than those used in the warp, which results in a softer and more luxurious fabric.

Another key feature of Bomkai sarees is their use of extra weft threads to create intricate patterns. This technique, known as khechari, allows a wide range of designs, from simple geometric patterns to complex floral motifs.

Combining these unique features makes Bomkai sarees some of the most desirable textiles in India.

Cultural Significance Behind Bomkai Wearing and Making

The state is home to many different cultures and traditions. One of Orissa’s most popular and well-known traditions is the Bomkai saree weave. This saree is a traditional Orissan sari known for its unique design and intricate patterns. The saree is lightweight cotton fabric, typically brightly colored with intricate designs. Women usually wear the saree on special occasions such as weddings and festivals.

The Bomkai saree weave has a long and rich history in Orissa. The tribals living in the region initially woven the sarees, using natural dyes and handlooms. Over time, the craft of weaving sarees spread to other parts of Orissa and eventually to other parts of India. Today, many different types of Bomkai sarees are available, each with its unique design and color scheme.

These types of saree weave are significant not only for its cultural history but also for its economic importance. The craft of weaving Bomkai sarees provides livelihoods for many people in Orissa, particularly women. In recent years, the demand for Bomkai sarees has grown significantly within India and abroad. This has resulted in an increase in production and employment opportunities for those involved in the industry.

Symbols Used in the Weaving

There are a number of different symbols that are used in the weaving of these sarees. These symbols have different meanings and significance within the Orissa culture.

It is also associated with the goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity.

How to Care for a Bomkai Saree?

Bomkai sarees are a traditional Orissan textile craft passed down for generations. These handwoven sarees’ intricate patterns and bright colors make them a favorite among Orissan women. Here are some tips on how to care for your Bomkai saree:

– First, it is essential to know that these sarees are made of delicate fabric and should be handled carefully.

– When you first receive your saree, it is advisable to have it dry-cleaned before wearing it. This will help preserve the color and integrity of the fabric.

– Once you have worn your Bomkai saree, hang it up or fold it neatly so the creases do not damage the fabric.

– When storing your saree, wrap it in acid-free tissue paper or cotton cloth to protect it from dust and moisture.

If you’re interested in exploring the rich heritage of these sarees, be sure to check out our collection!


All in all, the Bomkai saree weaves of Orissa hold great significance to its culture and history. It is an art form that stands out as unique among many other types of weaving due to its intricate details and vivid colors. Therefore, it has become a symbol of pride for the people of Orissa, who can proudly showcase their cultural heritage through these beautiful creations.

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