Saturday, October 31, 2020

Bomkai Sari

Bomkai Sari
Woven on a pit loom, Bomkai, which is also known as Sonepuri, is an extraordinary fabric that results from the confluence of two extremely popular components of the Orissa textile industry. In its simplest, Bomkai can be explained as an extra weft technique on a pit loom.It is an outcome of Ikat and embroidery interwoven into each other. The borders are often in contrasting colors and the pallus marked by intricate threadwork. The motifs on the Bomkai are inspired from nature and tribal art, giving the saree a fascinating look that makes it perfect for aristocracy. Bomkai sarees are available in cotton and silk fabrics.

Origin and History

The historical significance of Bomkai emerges from the fact that Bomkai is one of the traditional faces of a designer Orissa; and, showcases the adept works of an artisan. Also known as Sonepuri the embroidered cloth is a type of saree that was first crafted in the southern coastal parts of Orissa. Undoubtedly then, the fabric carried an essence of the ensembles that originated on the shores. While most of the coastal areas of Southern Orissa are involved in the creation of Bomkai sarees, it is in Sonepur that the prettiest of the fabric facades are found.

Locally known as ‘Bandha’ Bomkai concept of sarees is a part of the Orissan culture since 600 B.C. An outcome of Ikat and embroidery interweaved into each other, Bomkai is a magnificent innovation that has taken over the textile industry and gives it a global push. Traditionally worn as an auspicious attire by the Brahmins of the South during rituals, Bomkai or Sonepuri today is counted amongst one of the most highly thought of attires in the state of Orissa and an illustrious one in other parts of the country.


It’s the creativity and the love of the people for Bomkai that sparks innumerable concepts within the domain of Bomkai industries. Innumerable varieties of Bomkai have been introduced till date by people belonging to the Southern parts of Orissa. Some of the most popular ones though include Sonepuri, Pasapali, Barpali, and Bapta saris.

Interesting Facts and Comparisons

A Bomkai saree is largely worn by Kathak dancers around the world.

Bomkai is one of the major attractions in world fairs on fabrics, textiles, and attires.

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