Bomkai Silk Day was on Sunday observed at the ongoing National Handloom Expo here. Bomkai silk is famous across the world for its texture for centuries.
Odisha is considered as one of the major handloom concentrated states in India and it’s handloom products are recognized all over the country and abroad for their highly artistic and intricate designs, color combination and durability even today.
Bomkai Silk Sarees and dress materials are very famous in all over India for its excellent workmanship, design and color combination. The handloom originated from a small village called Bomkai in Patrapur Tahsil of Ganjam district and originally it was woven with coarser cotton yarn.
The characteristic of this traditional Bomkai lies in stepping and shaft formula and regular motif remains the same in any composition. The uniqueness is that there is no fixed layout for the Anchal panels developed by extra weft in various colors.
The designs are composed of beautiful motifs including Karela(Bitter gourd), the Kanthiful (small flower), the Atasi Flower, Padma(Lotus), rui rachha (carp fish), Koinchha(tortoise), mayur(Peacock) and Chadhei (bird) in geometrical forms. The design of fish is seen in the saree as it is believed to be a sign of success and affluence. A row of Kumbha is the favorite border motifs of Bomkai Silk.
The Bomkai designs were developed in the late ’80s and introduced in the early 1990s in the Sonepur handloom cluster. Since then, permutation and combination of designs involving tie & dye and Jalla designs, etc. with Bomkai design are practicing in the cluster. Later on, the body design was also developed to make the fabrics more attractive and zari was used to add value to the fabrics.
The weavers from Subarnapur, Boudh and Bolangir District are generally producing cotton and silk saree with ladies’ dress materials. The Bomkai silk sarees produced by the weavers have a good demand among the handloom lovers.
Bomkai silk saree was a great demand at the wedding of renowned Bollywood couple Abhishek Bachan and Aishwarya Rai. Modern silk sarees with Bomkai design is popularly known as Bomkai Jalla silk or sonepuri patas.
Bomkai silk is produced with Bomkai design woven in handloom using the Jalla technique. Bomkai silk fabrics are not confined to geometrical shape and size. Floral, dancing doll, chariot, trees, tortoise, fish, buta and creepers motifs combine with extra design at the border with dobby and jalla are developed in Bomkai silk to give an attractive look.
The weavers producing Bomkai silk fabrics are generally selling their products through nearby Primary Weavers Cooperative Societies and SHGs, Master weavers and in the local market.
Leading handloom organizations like Boyanika, Utkalika, Serifed, and Sambalpuri Bastralaya are also purchasing Bomkai Silk and provide market support to the rural weavers producing Bomkai Silk sarees and dress materials. The state, as well as Central Governments, are providing assistance to the weavers for their socio-economic development.