SPONSORED ADVERT

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Patolas of Pattan

By Jahnvi Sreedhar
Photography: Courtesy World Wide Web

Patola Sari of Pattan
.

A two-hour drive and hundred-odd kilometers from Ahmedabad, is a precocious weaving town, Pattan. This north Gujarat town is the house of one of India’s finest hand-woven saris. IAnD finds out what makes these saris special and what lies ahead for this art…

Weaving is one of India’s oldest and richest forms of art. G.K. Ghosh and Sukla Ghosh, authors of Ikat Textiles of India, talk about Patola as one of the finest fabrics found in Gujarat. “Uniqueness of the design being it is double ikat i.e. both warp and weft are dyed and adjusted on the loom; therefore the design is extremely sharp and prominent,” they write.

Patola Sari of Pattan
.

Over a telecon with IAnD, one among the few remaining families, who are preservers of this art, lament this indigenous art form being at the brink of extinction. “Patola is famous for its extremely delicate patterns woven with great precision and clarity; it involves a lot of patience and hard-work, which sadly no one is ready to do now,” says Vinayak K Salvi.  Another important quality of Patola is that it is spun of pure silk only with natural dyes. This practice lends itself to the famous proverb that prevails in Patola - "Padi Patole Bhat, Fate Pan Fite Nahi" meaning "The design laid down in Patola may tear but it shall never fade."

Patola Sari of Pattan
.

The Patola is surprisingly a male dominated craft. While women are part of the initial stage of dying the threads; men do the weaving. Woven on a hand-operated harness loom made of rosewood and bamboo strips, it’s an intensive and laborious process that involves a high level of proficiency. A slight shift in the positioning of the thread and the entire design is ruined! Furthermore, undoing it is not an option.

Patola Sari of Pattan
.

It takes 3 - 4 months to prepare the tie and dye design on warp and weft threads for one 6-yards sari. It requires two craftsmen to do the weaving and together they weave just about 8 - 9 inches per day. A simple sari may take up to 40 - 50 days and based on the intricacy of the design, probably 5 - 6 months and 4 - 5 weavers to complete an elaborate design. An intriguing secret is that different colours and patterns are matched exactly on horizontal and vertical threads while weaving; thus the pattern evolves with each thread.

Patola cloth of Pattan
.
Patola Cloth of Pattan
.

Known as originally handcrafted, Patola cloth is custom-made. Since so much labour and craftsmanship goes into the making of this product, the cost of this double ikat cloth is extremely high. Only a handful of Indians are said to be owners of a real Patola. Low cost imitations have been experimented with and are quite popular to cater to the masses. 
 
Patola Sari of Pattan
.

Patola saris have been nominated to the list of “Intangible Cultural World Heritage” promoted by UNESCO and government of India. The government has been extending their support to preserve and promote this indigenous art form through various awards and by issuing postal stamps as marks of appreciation and encouragement. Among many, this art form has contributed significantly to place India proudly on the world handicraft map.


No comments :

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...