Difference between a Katki and Sambalpuri saree

Katiki and Sambalpuri Sarees - Difference

Variations in sarees can leave anyone in a dilemma, as to what to choose and what to not! And, trust me, ladies will go any way to try on all these forms or styles of sarees. Am I right, beautiful ladies? Well, today it’s about elegant Katki and Sambalpuri saree. Many of you might be aware of these names. However, those who haven’t tried these ones- must read this!

Katki is a traditional Ikat saree and contains the texts of Gita Govinda. Sambalpuri Saree is a traditional handwoven saree that is tie-dyed before weaving. One warp for Sambalpuri saree is only 2-4 sarees while for Katki, it is up to 30 sarees.

Other names for Katki saree are like Khandua and Maniabandi. Both sarees originated from Odisha, Sambalpuri saree is particularly from Sambalpur, Balangir, Boudh, Bargarh, and Sonepur.

What is a Katki saree?

Katki or Khandua saree is typically woven with wooden looms and in red, orange, or yellow color. This red color is traditionally prepared from the Shorea robusta (sal tree). The main attraction of the Katki is that it is made from the highest quality traditional silk yarn or pure cotton. The motifs on the Katki saree include an auspicious elephant depicting Buddha surrounded by a trailing vine with peacocks in it, a flower, and a unique Orissan animal called Nabagunjara, a deula kumbha. In addition to this, Katki saree is well-known for its plain and temple borders. Katki Saree also has some cultural aspects as it is connected to Lord Jagannath. 

If we consider the present scenario, katki saree is loved by people from every nook and cranny. From Odissi dancers to celebrities have been seen wearing this graceful attire on different occasions. Moreover, one can see more variation in its borders and pallava style with some very common motifs like a star, temple, chakra, lotus, conch, rudraksha, fish, swan, peacock, parrot, deer, elephant, horse, lion, etc. 

The beauty of this saree lies in the fact that it goes through a complex, elaborate process that takes a number of hours to weave just one saree. This is the reason why it catches every woman’s eye. Admittedly, Katki saree is unparalleled in flawless execution and the finish cannot be attained by sarees made on the power loom. Such kind of saree is mostly opted for any festive or celebration occasion.

What is Sambalpuri saree?

Sambalpuri saree is ethnic and traditional handwoven, with motifs like shankha (shell), chakra (wheel), phula (flower). All of these motifs are mostly dyed with native Odia colours like red, black, and white that represent Lord Jagannatha’s face colour. Sambalpuri is woven in both cotton and silk fabric, using the double ikat method. The warp & weft threads of this saree are first tie-dyed and later set into a pattern for weaving. It takes many weeks for the entire process of weaving one single Sambalpuri Saree. 

There are so many varieties of the Sambalpuri sari such as Sonepuri, Pasapali, Bomkai, Barpali, and Bapta saris; named after their places of origin. It follows a “Baandha” craftsmanship where an arranged yarn is dyed according to a preconceived design. Local women wear this saree for traditional functions, Marriage, Puja, parties, and other special occasions. Sambalpuri Saree is a little expensive due to its expensive cloth material and handicraft of workers.

Difference between Katki and Sambalpuri saree

After going through all the above information, you might get an idea about Katki and Sambalpuri saree. The colors and the motifs used on these sarees are just beyond words. However, if we want to make a choice between the two or want to differentiate both sarees, then let’s get deep into the making processes and find differences based on several factors.

1. Cost

In general, Khandua/Katki sarees are less expensive as compared to the corresponding Sambalpuri sarees. The cost of these sarees also depends on Ikat patterns, the Sambalpuri sarees have more elaborate and dense patterns which is why these are costlier.

2. Weight

If we talk about the weight of both sarees, then Katki saree weighs less than Sambalpuri saree. Sambalpuri Silk Sarees use Mulberry x Mulberry yarns ( 3 ply x 3 ply) and thus it weighs around 650 to 700 grams whereas Katki/Khandua Silk sarees use 2 Ply Bangalore x 3 ply Malda Silk that weighs around 380-450 grams.

3. Thread count

Thread count matters a lot in differentiating both the sarees. Considering Katki saree first, the count is 2/100s x 2/100s, 2/80s x 2/80s, or 2/100s x 2/80s with reed and pick of 64 and 72 while in cotton Sambalpuri Sarees, the count is about 2/120s x 2/140s or 2/120s x 2/120s with a reed and pick of 72 and 76. One warp for Katki is up to 30 sarees whereas, for Sambalpuri, it is only 2-4 sarees.

4. Manufacturing time

Due to the elaborative and tie-dyed process of the Sambalpuri saree, it takes several weeks to make a single Sambalpuri saree. On the other hand, the single Katki saree just takes tens of hours to make.

5. Motifs

Talking about Sambalpuri motifs, the 3 major ones are- flower, wheel, and shell. The Katki saree uses an auspicious elephant, a flower, and a unique orissan animal as major motifs along with many other common motifs such as star, temple, chakra, conch, rudraksha, fish, swan, peacock, parrot, deer, etc.

6. Origin

In general, Sambalpuri sarees are manufactured in the Sambalpuri and Bargarh regions of Odisha, whereas Katki sarees are manufactured in Nuapatna.


Concluding all the above information about both the sarees, differentiating Katki and Sambalpuri is no more a herculean task. We can say that Katki silk sarees are less finer and have less weight as compared to the Sambalpuri sarees. However, both sarees are equally beautiful, it is all about the choice of a buyer- whether looking for a heavyweight saree or light-weight, etc.