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2. The Bandha or tie-and-dye technique used in Orissa is much different from that of Gujarat and Rajasthan. Here, the yarn is first tied in portions, and each section is dyed in a different color according to the design. When woven, the designs emerge, and the special feature is that the design is prominent on both sides of the fabric. This is a very complicated process and it is rather amazing to find that the traditional weavers do not use any graphic designs on paper. The common motifs are borrowed from nature. Flowers, creepers, birds, animals are abundantly woven in myriad colors, all lending a distinct feature to the nine yards of woven wonder.

3. The Pasapalli saree with its distinctive black-and-white squares is a replica of the chessboard. Equally fascinating are the names—Vichitrapuri, Chandrika, Nabagunja, Asman Tara and Krishnapriya. The earlier yarns of coarse cotton have been replaced with fine cotton, silks, tussar and a cotton-silk mix called ‘bapta’. Gold thread and tissues are also used to enhance the patterns.

The other typical varieties of Orissa saris, in silk and cotton, include the glossy Khanduas having elaborate designs, the rich red Jotai Ikat with rows of stylized trees and temple spires on the borders, the unbleached cotton Kotpad from Koraput offset by a vibrant red dyed border, the Taraballi and the Bichitrapuri. The tribal people of the State also excel in producing textiles of myriad hues using vegetable dyes.

Most of the handloom textiles of Orissa are woven in bright and strong colors. Vegetable dyed textiles have given way to chemical dyes, and the former command a premium wherever available.

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