Sambalpuri sari weavers hit by yarn price rise

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The rising prices of yarn has hit weavers of western Odisha as the increased input cost of making handloom materials has led to a jump in the cost of the famous Sambalpuri sari and therefore a plunge in its sales.

A Sambalpuri sari showcases the craftsmanship of weavers who use tie and dye art for intricate weaves, also known as ikkat’.

The saris are known for the incorporation of motifs like Shankha’ (shell), chakra’ (wheel), and phula’ (flower).

Bargarh Behera Kapda Bazar Bunakar Sangha president Ajodhya Meher said a small bundle of yarn, which was priced between Rs 3,200 and Rs 3,500 a year ago, is now being sold for about Rs 5,100 in the market.

This has resulted in increasing the price of Sambalpuri fabric, which is affecting customers and hitting sales, he said.

A weaver said the price of a Sambalpuri sari has increased by at least 30 per cent over the past year.

As many as 21,543 families earn their livelihood from weaving in Bargarh, Boudh, Sambalpur, and Patnagarh in Balangir district.

An increase in the prices of yarn has affected the livelihood of these families, Meher said.

The COVID-19 pandemic badly hit the sale of Sambalpuri fabrics and the rise in the prices of yarn has worsened the situation, he said.

Meher sought the state government’s intervention in giving relief to the weavers, adding that the association had submitted a memorandum to the state government last month.

The outfit has demanded that the government give subsidies to weavers for purchasing yarn on the lines of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, Meher added.

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