Sabai Handicrafts (Get to Know about Sabai Artisans with Nestasia)

July 12, 2021

An art as old as time, making sabai ropes has been a part and parcel of the culture that long precedes the present generation of women in Orissa, and the eastern rural areas of West Bengal.

Previously deprived of basic necessities and deep in poverty, the rural people of these areas were drifters with no permanent source of income. However, with the introduction and rise in popularity of Sabai products into the market, the women are no longer confined to child rearing and household chores, they’re all actively involved in the process of cultivation and manufacture of sabai grass products.

Handmade with love and with what can only be deemed as great finesse, a lot of individual work is put into creating each and every one of these articles which are increasingly gaining popularity not just in India, but all over the world. We at Nestasia are a strong supporter of elevating the working conditions of these women, and so we bring to you, a wide range of sabai products for you to choose from and support these women alongside us.

From planters, storage baskets, fruit baskets and boxes to mats, coasters, purses and wall décor, a wide range of items are part of the handcrafted Sabai products. Because these meticulously hand-woven goods are manufactured organically, they are eco-friendly and environmentally sustainable.

The items are also long-lasting and sturdy, making them undoubtedly a good investment.

Are you someone who’s environmentally conscious and want to add to a more eco-friendly lifestyle? No worries, we’ve got your back.

Here’s a list of all-purpose products that we think will delight the nature-lover in you, starting with our personal favorite, delicately handcrafted planters.


If you’re someone who wants to contribute to a greener world, these handmade planters in vibrant colors would be just the perfect addition to your gardening collection.

They are great for growing little flowers or succulents, and make for a beautiful décor accent to your terrace or balcony.

The mute colors can contrast and blend perfectly with neutral backgrounds, rendering a colorful aesthetic to that one monotonous, often overlooked corner of your house.

The small one right there is for your study table, to keep you company while you pull an all-nighter for your finals. And in case you don’t have a pencil stand to stack your highlighters and pens (we know just how important those are while mugging up for exams), you’re in luck. These table planters are multipurpose and can double up as a pen-stand too!

Nestfact: A fine natural fiber belonging to the perennial grass family, the scientific name of Sabai is Eulaliopsis Binata. It is a jute-like material.


This summer, say yes to sustainable fashion with our locally-sourced handbag, which is just the right combination of eco-friendly and stylish. Not to mention, it’s super handy, durable and long-lasting and you know the best part?

It’s a recyclable product so if and when (although we doubt you ever will) you get tired of using this handbag, you can always turn it into a planter!

And with its handles, it would make for a perfect hanging planter on the walls of your balcony or living room.

All you’d need is a couple of succulents or small blooms and you’re good to go.

Nestfact: Sabai grass is often regarded as "The Money Plant," as it generates income throughout the year. The industry encourages the development of entrepreneurs among the rural communities. This, in turn ensures economic development in rural areas by modernizing and innovating the prevalent industrial culture.

Laundry Basket

Too many unwashed clothes and no place to stow them away until the weekend when you can finally get around to doing your laundry work? Long gone are the days when we were unaware of the harmful effects of using plastic products, so using that one spare plastic laundry basket in the corner cannot really be the right choice anymore, and you know we are right. So then, what if we tell you that we have just the right product for you, and it keeps you from contributing to the contamination of the ecosystem? That would leave piling up the housework the only reason for you to feel guilty.

Presenting, our completely natural, eco friendly Handmade Laundry Basket, specifically designed to keep your clothes odor-free. This basket has comfortable, reach-through handles that make lifting and carrying the basket a breeze and it’s strong and lightweight, making it a multi-purpose utility item.

Its appealing natural colour not only blends perfectly into any room layout but also lends a sophisticated touch to your home's interior.

Nestfact: The process of manufacture of the Sabai products includes harvesting, cutting and bunching the grass, and then drying them in the sun, until they’re ready to be roped and braided.

Did you know that the grass is twisted by hand and its rough edges are softened by rubbing against a tree trunk? Of course, these days, some of the artisans use twisting machines as well, because it’s simpler and more efficient.


Are you like us and keep losing the knitting needles just when you’re in the mood to sew? Do you often find yourself unable to locate the painkillers when your head is splitting with a headache because you stacked them away in one of the bedroom drawers and forgot? From needles to medicines, there’s nothing these fine handcrafted trays can’t hold.

Intricately woven and sturdy, this set of 3 trays is multipurpose and can be used for organizing the kitchen, or the bathroom, and maintaining clutter less counters at your place. Now all your oil bottles and spice jars have a place to rest, without the added risk of spilling or getting mixed up together.

What’s more, they make for wonderful fruit baskets and center pieces too, and with just the right adjustments, the perfect wall décor items for an interesting look in your hallway. All you have to do is adjust them at different heights and voila, art!


Nestfact: Most Sabai handicrafts usually retain their beautiful natural brown colour which comes from sun-drying.

However, in recent times, the artisans have taken to dyeing the grass with completely organic vegetable colours. Some of them even use Azo-free dyes, all to add vibrancy to the strands and make their products more lively and eye-catching.  The procedure of dyeing involves slicing the strands, forming sufficient bunches, blending pigments in proportion to adequate amounts of boiling water, soaking the strands in the boiling water with the dye, and drying them in the sun.

Mats and Trivet

Plastic mats are so harmful for the environment, and the cloth ones just keep getting spoilt don’t they? Well, we’ve just the right item for you.

These meticulously handmade place mats and trivets, crafted with utmost care by female artisans are the ideal additions to your dining table.

Heat-resistant and long-lasting, the neutral colors of the mats can compliment any dining table, be it made of wood or glass.

Nestfact: The introduction of the market for sabai has boosted the economy of the rural regions and substantially raised the standard of living of the villagers. The women have benefited the most from this rapidly growing industry, and emerged as successful entrepreneurs, no longer confined to domestic spheres.


Say no to marks on your precious tabletops with the organic handicraft coasters, designed specially to balance and place your cups and mugs.

Not only are they super sustainable, they also look great on your countertop.

Nestfact: The ideal season to reap Sabai grass is Autumn.

Storage and Organizer Baskets

The natural handmade grass baskets are a colorful, organic choice to add to an eco-friendly house.

Newspapers, toys, clothes, and toiletries­_ these natural baskets can store anything and everything, while adding to a positive ambience at your home.

We’ve both lidded and non-lidded options for you to select between.

The lidded ones are more suitable for being used as storing trunks, if you ask us, and the metal frame ones are sturdy enough for day to day use around the household.

They can be used as décor accents around the house too, with flowers and candles placed in them during festivities or just to spruce up the backdrop of your rooms.

Nestfact: The locals refer to Sabai grass as Babui or Bobaii ghaso.

Boxes with Lid

Colorful lidded boxes are the way to go if you’re looking to make some ecologically sound changes at home.


Braided and weaved to perfection, these boxes are just about the right sizes to safe keep your jewelry and ornaments.

The all-purpose boxes are quite resourceful in the kitchen as well when it comes to storing your vegetables and snacks in style.

Nestfact: Sabai artists have taken part in numerous fairs and festivals throughout India within a very short period of time, since their industry started blooming. The exposure has given them the much-needed confidence that they have inculcated into making more amazing products for their consumers all over India, and other parts of the world.

It is a source of immense pride for numerous members of this community who could hardly sign their names to travel out of their villages, participate in fairs and festivals, earn a living, and pass their traditional talents on to generations to come after them.

Special Care

The only thing these sustainable items need to be protected from is water, so as not to ruin their amazing quality. We’d advice against letting the products get near water or keeping them in places which are damp and moist.

Cleaning these products is hassle free and quick, all you have to do is lightly dust them with a dry cloth and there you are, good as new. That’s gotta be an added bonus, eh?


Over a very short span, this industry has established its name as a blooming business and has given the opportunity to countless of poor artisans and entrepreneurs to showcase their talent and earn a healthy living. Not to forgot, women are the ones who have most benefited from the growth of this form of art work.

Thousands and thousands of women have been involved in the Sabai grass cultivation work which has fast-tracked their economic development to a considerable extent. The female population of these villages has had fabulous exposure through visiting different cities and towns in order to showcase their crafts at multiple exhibitions.

However, even with improved quality and new innovations, the women have not completely shunned weaving the grass ropes, because to this day, it is the traditional and primary source of their livelihood.

The innovative and unique methods with which these local artisans weave magic with their nimble hands in no time leaves us in absolute awe and wonder. These beautiful collection of traditional sabai products, bring the best of Indian crafts to a wide audience, and we at Nestasia, are here to play our part in taking this industry to an international level of fame.

Extend your support to this band of bold women by ordering these handmade eco-friendly products today from our website,

Found new ways to style and use these multipurpose sabai products? Share with us in the comments below, we’re looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

Till next time, happy shopping!

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