Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Patan Patola – An Exquisite Weaving Technique

Written By Nikitha Hebbar (Grade 9)

Our country India is known for its rich and ancient heritage and each state of India boasts of its own unique and flourishing textile industry. The elegant Patan Patola Saree whose origin is North Gujarat region of Western India. It is a delight to the eyes of the viewer and pride for the wearer.

There is a famous saying in Gujarati “Padi Patole bhaat, Phate pan fitey nahin”, which means the Patola cloth may tear, but the design and colour never fade.

This colourful Saree got its name from the area in North Gujarat namely Patan, which was once the capital of the mighty Solankis, who ruled Gujarat. King Kumarpala who ruled Patan 100 years ago brought around 700 Patola craftsmen from the Salvi community in Jalna, Maharashtra to Patan. Later, Salvi Community, which is now in its 16th generation, found a rich trade in the Patola Saree in Gujarat. 

The weaving technique of Patola Saree is unique. Dyed threads are used both vertically and horizontally to create many beautiful prints and designs. The entire procedure requires the weaver to have a lot of vigilance, patience, and perfection in his hand skills as displacement of even a single thread can deform the pattern. The silk weavers of Karnataka and Maharashtra state were the original weavers of this exquisite Saree.

The dyes used to weave this traditional Saree are natural dyes obtained from Indigo, Turmeric, Plant roots, Henna, fruits, and flowers. Patola Sarees are live proof that Man’s skill is above Computerized programming which is used nowadays for designing clothes. These handwoven wonders are a result of months of tedious work.

A rare speciality of this Saree is Double Ikkat weave which means once the same is woven, the colour, intensity, feel and design of the saree look identical on both sides and can be worn from both sides. The weave is so detailed and well done that there are no loose threads anywhere. The time taken to weave a single saree is around 6 months to one year. On average, a craftsman can fabricate only about a quarter-inch of a saree per day.

Patan Patola was and is even today considered an auspicious possession. In earlier days Patola was used by the royal and rich class as it was considered a symbol of royalty and good luck. Certain communities in India wear Patolas in their ceremonies as they are believed to have magical powers and ward off the evil eye. Brides in Gujarat are given Patolas by her parent’s side as part of her trousseau.

The fame of Patan Patola has spread all over the globe due to its uniqueness, and it can be found in almost every popular textile showroom in the world. Currently, the price of Patola Saree can go up to two lakh rupees. 

Patan Patola Saree has managed to stand the test of time. The traditional patterns and designs have not changed much over the years. 

Patan Patola Sarees aren’t Expensive, they are Priceless.

Featured Image Courtesy – The Better India