Kotpad, the name of a small weaving village in Odisha, identifies the distinctive fabric distinguished by its rich vegetable-dyed reds, browns, and blacks and motifs derived from a different culture.

Mirgan community members weave Kotpad cottons in the tribal regions of southern Odisha and Chhattisgarh. In terms of both materials and methods, Kotpad textiles have maintained continuity with their tribal roots.

Kotpad saree is one such traditional Indian saree that is handcrafted by them. This saree is known for its simplicity, durability, and beautiful designs that reflect the tribal culture and heritage of the region. 



The Kotpad saree has a rich history that dates back to several centuries. The tribal weavers of Kotpad have been weaving this saree using natural dyes and organic cotton yarns for generations.

The saree is named after the Kotpad village, which is located in the Koraput district of Odisha. 

The history of Kotpad saree can be traced back to several centuries ago, when the tribal communities in the Kotpad region started weaving clothes using locally grown cotton.

The sarees were initially woven for personal use and for gifting during festivals and weddings. The natural dyes used in the sarees were extracted from roots, bark, leaves, and flowers of local plants and trees.

Over time, the Kotpad saree gained popularity and started being traded with other regions.

Today, Kotpad sarees are recognized as a symbol of Odisha’s rich cultural heritage and it is a testimony to the creativity and craftsmanship of the tribal weavers who have been preserving this art form for centuries.


Kotpad Sarees

Kotpad saree is not just a piece of fabric but a form of cultural heritage that has been passed down through generations.

Its unique features, including the use of natural dyes, organic cotton, and intricate weaving techniques, make it stand out among other handloom sarees in India

Kotpad saree is not only a symbol of the tribal community’s cultural identity. Kotpad saree has a rich cultural heritage that dates back to over 200 years.

The saree’s unique natural dyes are extracted from locally sourced plants, such as the Aal tree’s bark and the Turmeric root. These dyes are then used to create the saree’s distinct red and black color combination. 

The organic cotton used in Kotpad saree production is locally grown and hand-spun, making it a sustainable and eco-friendly textile.

The saree’s weaving process involves traditional pit looms, and the designs are created using a technique called the ‘extra weft’ method, which creates the saree’s characteristic geometric patterns.

Kotpad saree is also a source of livelihood for the weavers. The weaving of Kotpad saree is a skill that has been passed down through generations, and it provides employment opportunities for the local community.

The government of India has recognized the importance of Kotpad saree as a form of cultural heritage and has taken steps to promote its production and marketing. 


When compared to other traditional handloom sarees from different regions of India, Kotpad saree stands out for its unique features and cultural significance.

For example, Kanjeevaram saree from Tamil Nadu is known for its rich silk fabric and intricate zari work, while Baluchari saree from West Bengal features elaborate motifs and designs woven with silk threads.

Each saree has its distinct features and reflects the culture and traditions of the region. However, Kotpad saree’s use of natural dyes, organic cotton, and traditional weaving techniques sets it apart from other handloom sarees.  


Kotpad sarees are classified 5 types based on their designs:

  • Plain sarees: These sarees are characterized by a simple design with no elaborate motifs. The sarees are available in different colors, ranging from white to black.
Source: Priya odisha
  • Checked sarees: These sarees have a checked pattern, which is created by interchanging the weft threads of two different colors. The sarees are available in various color combinations, such as red and black, blue and black, and yellow and black.
Source: Indian Villez
  • Hand-painted Kotpad Saree – These sarees feature hand-painted designs that are inspired by nature, tribal motifs, and geometric patterns. kind.
Source: Siri Collections
  • Vegetable-dyed Kotpad Saree – These sarees are dyed using natural dyes extracted from plants, such as madder, turmeric, and indigo. They come in a range of colors, including red, yellow, green, and blue.
Source: Essenceofindia
  • Kotpad Silk Saree – These sarees are made with a blend of Kotpad cotton and silk yarns, giving them a rich and luxurious texture.
Source: Vriksh Designs


The distinctive feature of Kotpad Saree is its signature designs, which are inspired by the tribal art and culture of the region.

The designs are typically geometric and abstract, with patterns like stripes, squares, and triangles.

The colors used in Kotpad Saree are derived from natural sources, such as roots, leaves, and flowers, which are eco-friendly and sustainable.

Kotpad Sarees are available in a variety of colors, with the most popular being red, black, and white. These colors are symbolic and have cultural significance.

Red represents passion, black represents strength and power, and white represents purity and simplicity.

Apart from the traditional designs and patterns, Kotpad Sarees also feature modern and contemporary styles. Weavers are experimenting with new designs and color combinations, which are attracting a younger generation of customers. 


  1. Eco-friendly: The saree is made using natural dyes extracted from locally available plants and trees. The use of natural dyes is not only eco-friendly but also adds to the uniqueness of the saree.
  2. Unique texture: The saree is known for its unique texture, which is created by the use of organic cotton and natural dyes. The saree is lightweight, comfortable to wear, and suitable for all seasons.
  3. Handmade: The saree is entirely handmade using traditional techniques. The weaving process involves no use of machinery and requires a great deal of skill and patience.
  4. Traditional designs: The saree is known for its traditional designs, which are created by interchanging the weft threads in a particular pattern. The sarees are available in different colors and designs, and each design has its own significance and meaning.


With the increasing popularity of Kotpad saree, it has become difficult to differentiate between a genuine Kotpad saree and a fake one.

However, there are a few things that one can look for to identify a genuine Kotpad saree. 

  • The saree should have a unique texture and should be handcrafted using organic cotton yarns. 
  • Traditionally, coarse cotton fabric that has been yarn-dyed in Indian red or reddish black is used for dress fabric. Presently, however, a subtler variant of the same character is woven into sarees.
  • Standard tribal extra weft patterns, such as fish, conch, crab, butterfly, pigeon, duck, serpent, axe, kettle, boat, hand fan, and temple palanquin, are woven with thick cotton yarn. 
  • The placement or arrangement of additional weft designs is typically not uniform because they are not woven using design devices.
  • A border of consistent contrast colour is woven with three shuttles.
  • The saree should also have a tag that certifies its authenticity. 


Kotpad saree is a handcrafted piece of clothing that requires special care such as: 

  1. Dry clean: Kotpad sarees are made using natural dyes, which can fade or bleed if washed with regular detergent. Therefore, it is best to dry clean the saree to preserve its color and texture.
  2. Store properly: When not in use, the saree should be folded neatly and stored in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. It is best to store the saree in a cotton or muslin cloth to prevent it from getting damaged or discolored.
  3. Iron carefully: Iron the saree using a low heat setting to avoid damaging the fabric or the traditional designs. It is recommended to iron the saree on the reverse side to prevent any damage to the design.
  4. Handle with care: Kotpad sarees are delicate and should be handled with care. Avoid pulling or stretching the saree, as it can damage the fabric or the traditional designs.
  5. Avoid exposure to water: Kotpad sarees should be kept away from water as much as possible, as the natural dyes can bleed and cause discoloration.


On average, a handloom Kotpad Saree can cost between Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 15,000. However, the price can go up to Rs. 20,000 or more for a high-quality saree with intricate designs and patterns.

The price range of Kotpad Saree can vary depending on several factors, such as the quality of the fabric, the intricacy of the design, and the reputation of the weaver.

Handloom kotpad sarees are usually more expensive than machine-made ones, as they require more time and skill to create. 



The Kotpad saree has gained popularity not only in India but also in other countries.The saree has become a symbol of India’s rich cultural heritage and is a must-have for anyone who appreciates traditional Indian art and craft.

To promote the Kotpad saree and support the tribal weavers, the government of Odisha has taken several initiatives.

The government has set up handloom clusters in Kotpad and other villages to encourage the weavers to continue their craft. The government has also provided financial assistance to the weavers to improve their skills and techniques.

The future of Kotpad saree looks promising, as there has been a growing interest in sustainable and eco-friendly fashion.

With the rise of conscious consumerism, people are becoming more aware of the environmental impact of fast fashion and turning towards locally-made, traditional clothing options. 

The Indian government’s support for the preservation and promotion of traditional handwoven sarees like Kotpad saree through initiatives like the Geographical Indication (GI) tag, further strengthens its future prospects. 

The integration of technology in the production process and creative collaborations between traditional weavers and designers can also bring new designs and ideas to the craft, making it more relevant to contemporary fashion trends.

Therefore, Kotpad saree is expected to continue to thrive in the coming years as a sustainable, unique, and culturally significant fashion choice.