Sambalpuri textiles are one of reasons the state of Odisha is known all over the world. It is cotton fabric primarily known for its unique production technique—Ikat or Ikkat i.e., 'tie and dye technique'—which is locally known as Bandha Kalaa. Though it is known by the name of Sambalpur district there are also weavers' communities in the rural areas of Bargrah, Jharsuguda, Sundargarh, Bolangir, Boudh and Sonepur districts of western Odisha who are involved in the production of this beautiful textile and have helped to keep alive the tradition for generations.
Ipsita Sahu is pursuing her PhD in Cinema Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She has worked on film exhibition and single screen theatres, and is currently looking at the black-and-white television era in India. As someone born and brought up in Odisha, Sahu's interest in Odisha's rich tradition of crafts and textiles has led her to work with the well-known master weaver Surender Meher on this project on the Sambalpuri ikat.