Weaving using natural dyes is a speciality of the Kotpad handloom tribals of Orissa.
There are two basic colours-one a deep red or maroon derived from the bark of Aal root, and the other from iron filings which is a blackish brown. The process of dyeing is elaborate, using cow dung and castor oil, washing in a stream or river (flowing water) after beating, drying and boiling it. Yam is usually dyed in dry months. The dyed yarn is combined with off white cotton yarn or tussore silk to weave tribal or full length sarees, materials, dupattas as well as stoles.
Even though only two or three colours are combined to make the weaves, these products are immensely popular.