Gujarati Patola Silk Sari Is A Priceless Heirloom

With recent revival of the weaves in India, it has led to renewed interests in the time-honored artistic techniques, and to say that Gujarat’s weave is high on this list is not at all exaggeratory. Patola Solk Saree is the traditional design and is as authentic as impactful. These sarees are double ikat woven pieces that are made of silk usually. Ever since its history can be traced, it has been originated in the regions of Gujarat. On that note, let’s take a note of its origin.

Origin and history of Patola Silk Sari

The term ‘Patola’ has been derived from Sanskrit. It means pattakulla and is the plural form of term patolu. It is surprising to state that in spite of having an origin in Gujarat, its history can also be discovered in the lands of South India as well. Anyone who has read the Narasimha Purana can get a fair idea of the fabric getting worn   by women during the holy ceremonies.

As for the Gujarati origin, the first example of its history in Gujarat can be traced back in the 11th century. Upon the declination of Solanki Empire, Salvis got a richer trade in the city. This is how Patola saris got its recognition as a sign of Gujarati women’s social status, especially during wedding ceremonies. As far as the history goes, around 700 silk weavers were moved from Karnataka’s Salvi caste to Gujarat in 12th century. It helped them acquire patronage of Solanki Rajputs, at that time. Legends also indicate a story claiming that the origin of these silk sarees was 900 years ago.

An implication of how the fabric gets created

Patolas get manufactured by resist-dyeing procedure by using weft and warp techniques. It usually takes 4-7 months to weave such a saree. And the making of the saree needs at least three weavers. In spite of being expensive & time-consuming process, the sarees enjoy a fair share of popularity among Indian women even in a world where casual attire rules everyone’s life. ‘Vi’, the stick shaped as sword is made of rosewood, is used for the purpose of adjusting yarns.

In the initial process, it involves tying of its yarn with the cotton threads. Measurements are as small, and the yarn undergoes a multitude of cycles of dyeing and tying. There is a specific order for the colors that weavers follow. Note than no displacement occurs in the process because one single displacement can disturb the whole designing arrangement, resulting in making the set redundant.

Each color comprises a unique place in its design that requires getting carefully aligned in the process of weaving. This intricacy needs immense patience and precision. An outstanding feature of patola looms is its design to be tilted at one side. Two people need to work in tandem. The time takes entirely depends on the intricacy and length of the pattern.

Buy Different Styles of Gujarati Patola Saree Online

Geometric patterns and abstract designs are the fundamental designs to identify a Patola Silk Sari. If you want to purchase a Gujarati Patola Saree Online, look for different styles, including:

  • Kalash
  • Human figure
  • Paan
  • Parrots
  • Elephants
  • Flowers; and more patterns

Each patola sari design comprises a unique name, including:

  • Nari kunjar bhat (Elephant and women patterns)
  • Paan bhat (peepul leaf design)
  • Navratna bhat (square-shaped)
  • Voharagaji (inspired by Vohra community)
  • Rattanchowk bhat (geometric motif)

Patola silk sarees are believed to have certain cultural significance to have magical powers in warding off the evil. This is the reason why Gujarati women wear this sari in their weddings.

Featured Photo of ‘patola weaving, udaipur’ by nevil zaveri under CC BY 2.0

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