Siuli Checks and Stripes
It’s said that the weavers’ community of Jagatsinghpur District came by migrating from Burdhaman & Nadia districts of Bengal as followers of Bhakti Movement of Sri Chaitanya during the period of Puri Gajapati Sri Prataprudra Dev. It is learnt from the old, senior weavers of the area that at first some weavers’ families migrated from Burdhaman and Nadia and settled at Badabag village. Gradually they spread over the entire district. As those migrated weavers were very skilled, they started independently weaving fine count cotton saree. During 1936, one Primary Weavers Cooperative Society (PWCS) was organised in the name of “Badabag WCS” at Badabag village. All the weavers of the district were enrolled as members of the said Society. The main aim and objective of the society was to bring all weavers of the district under Cooperative fold and to provide all types of support like supply of raw-material, payment of conversion charges as well as marketing their products in a regular and continuous manner besides improving socio-economic condition of their families. In course of time, the Sarees produced by the said weavers received good market response and became famous as “Badabag Katki Saree”. Over time, more PWCS developed but Badabag remained the most famous one. After 1999 Supercyclone, Jagatsinghpur district was completely destroyed still the weavers got back to work with much difficulty. At present, 535 nos. of weaver households having 1440 population with 534 looms are residing in four blocks and they are engaged in production of fine count cotton sarees and daily utility fabrics through 12 nos. of PWCS. Some weavers are also working under Master Weavers to earn their livelihood. The approximate monthly income of a weaver from handloom profession is around Rs. 2,500/ to Rs. 3,000/-. Most of the weavers of the district are skilled and some are semi-skilled. The skilled weavers are engaged in weaving fine count i.e. up to 100‟S cotton sarees. The semi-skilled weavers are producing fabrics such as sarees, dhotis, lungis and napkins of coarser count yarn. It is a family based profession in which all the family members are partly associated in weaving, pre and post loom activities. [Source: Jagatsinghpur Gazzette by Govt. of Odisha] These humble ‘suta luga’ (single cotton or non-mercerised cotton sarees) carry the handloom mark and we encourage handloom lovers to buy these in more numbers.