Sambalpuri Textiles: Art and Artists

Sambalpuri Textiles: Art and Artists

in Interview
Published on: 06 November 2017

Ipsita Sahu

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, particularly the Chanakya Theatre in New Delhi. Her current project looks at the black-and-white television era in India. As someone born and brought up in Odisha, Sahu's interest in its rich tradition of crafts and textiles led her to work with the master weaver Surender Meher on this project on the Sambalpuri ikat.

Surender Meher, expert and master weaver, speaks about Sambalpuri Textile; Barpali, Odisha, April 2017

Surender Meher, expert and master weaver, speaks about the traditional textile art of Odisha—Sambalpuri Ikat, which is known all over the world. He is also explaining how each member of the family of a weaver plays an important role at different stages of weaving a Sambalpuri.


Surendra Meher is the youngest son of legendary ikat weaver Padmashree Kunjabihari Meher, from Barpali. After graduating from Sambalpur University he devoted himself to innovating and experimenting new designs in the age-old traditional art of Sambalpuri Ikat to adapt it to modern tastes. Surendra Meher has set a record in being honoured with the State Award of Orissa for three years consecutively. He also received the National Award in 1991 and the Kalanidhi Award in 1993. He has represented the country in the 'India Week exhibition' at the Algurair Centre, Dubai, and also at the Asian Art Museum, San Fransisco, in 1997. His classic creations have been part of the permanent display of the Art Gallery of the Crafts Museum, New Delhi and the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco.