Handloom is unique to each India state and usually reflects culture, history and the preferences of people in the state.
Odisha sarees for example, have a rich and long history. These sarees have a history and the presiding deity of Lord Jagannath Puri is always dressed up in one of the Odisha Sarees. Historical records at the JagannathTemple in Puri indicate that shlokas from the Gita were woven into cloth and donated to the temple. The Odisha sarees are made in both cotton and silk, are locally known as Ikat sarees and feature temple borders with flowers, conch, fish and wheels that are symbolic of the Jagannath temple.
They are made using the tie-and-dye technique, which is also known as bandha. The threads are dyed in desired colours before the process of weaving begins. The tie-and-dye process is a tedious one which cannot be done by a single person. A number of families are involved in the process of dyeing, weaving and designing the sarees. Most of the designs on the sarees are created by the weaver himself and the process is time consuming - only about six cotton sarees and about two silk sarees can be made in a month. Colours are very important for this type of weave and are usually in shades of Red, Yellow and Black.
Pasapalli sarees, woven in Sonepur, Barpali and Baunshri, are unique and identificable with their black and white squares that resemble a chess board. Bomkai sarees, woven in Bomkai, have a heavily designed pallu, generally made using different coloured threads, and Sambalpuri sarees, woven in and around Sambalpur district, are known for the temple patterns on their borders. It is customary for brides in Odisha to wear Sambalpuri or Bomkai sarees.
According to the Sambalpuri Bastralaya Handloom Society, after agriculture, it is handloom that provides the maximum employment in Odisha with over one lakh people engaging themselves in the handloom sector in Odisha.