Patola Fabric

Patola is typically made of silk and is produced in Patan, Gujarat, India. The singular term is patolu, while the plural is patola. They are extremely costly and were once reserved for members of royal and aristocratic families. Those who can afford the exorbitant costs are drawn to these saris. In Surat, velvet patola fashions are also produced. A tightly guarded family custom is patola weaving. These incredibly sought-after twin ikat saris are woven by three generations in Patan. It is rumored that only the boys are taught this skill among the family members. Due to the extensive procedure of independently coloring each strand before weaving them together, making one sari can take anywhere between six months and a year. In Surat, Ahmedabad, and Patan, patola was weaved.

Although the patola fabric is said to have originated in Gujarat, South Indian holy literature also contains the first references to it. This cloth is described as being worn by ladies at rituals and special occasions in the religious scripture Narasimha Purana. Pattakulla, its Gujarati counterpart, did not occur until Pataskala the 11th century. Gujarat became a thriving market for the Salvis following the fall of the Solanki Empire. Patola saris swiftly rose to prominence among Gujarati women as a symbol of social standing, particularly when worn as part of their wedding attire. In order to gain the patronage of the Solanki Rajputs, who were the ruling elite of Gujarat and some of Rajasthan at the time, 700 silk weavers from the Salvi caste of Karnataka and Maharashtra are thought to have relocated to Gujarat in the 12th century.

According to a different legend, patola was created 900 years ago thanks to the support of King Kumarpala, who turned it into a status symbol. His initial source of patola was Jalna in Maharashtra. He transported 700 patola artisans and their families from Maharashtra and Karnataka to Patan in Gujarat, however, after discovering that the king of Jalna had used the patola as bedsheets before selling or giving them to other nobility. He allegedly staggered production after that, and despite the seven-month production period, he allegedly got at least one new patola each day to wear to the temple.

The warp and weft method are used to create patolas during the resist-dying process. A patola is often expensive and time-consuming to weave, taking three individuals four to seven months. Vi, a rosewood stick in the shape of a sword, is used to adjust the strands. The yarn is tied with cotton threads in accordance with the pattern as the first stage. The smallest possible measurement is one hundredth of an inch. The yarn goes through several cycles of tying and dying in a certain arrangement of colors. The arrangement of the design can be thrown off by the displacement of just one yarn, rendering the entire set unnecessary. Each color occupies a certain location in the pattern, which must be precisely aligned when weaving. Extreme care and precision are necessary for work this complex. The patola loom is special because it is inclined to one side and requires two persons to work together on a single sari. These items can also take up to a year to produce, depending on how long and intricate the design is.

The reason patola is so important is because it is complicated and time-consuming. Geometric patterns and abstract shapes are frequently used to symbolize patolas. Popular patterns include those with elephants, human figures, kalash, flowers, shikhar, paan, and parrots as well as those that drew inspiration from Gujarati architecture. They are made with natural colors including catechu, cochineal, indigo, marigold, turmeric, natural lakh, madder roots, manjistha, ratnajyot, katha, and kesudo.

Modern-day Andhra Pradesh and Telangana create ikat, a form of cloth. It serves as a common term for the fabric, knitting method, and yarn. In general, it is a process that uses resist-dying. The yarn is tightly twisted into bundles, which are then colored as many times as necessary to get the desired design. Double ikat, in which both the warp and the weft threads are resist-dyed before weaving, is the most challenging style of weaving. It is the weft threads of single ikat that are resist-dyed. Only when the weaving goes farther will the pattern emerge. As a result, the weaver must continuously center and reposition the strands to guarantee the design is appropriately made.