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The patola saree is a traditional saree weaved in Patan in Gujarat. It is usually made from silk. Commonly believed to have originated in Gujarat, the mention of this gorgeous silk saree can even be found in texts from South India. The manufacturing process of the Patola saree consists of the resist-dyeing process using the warp and weft technique. The colors are carefully woven into the saree, each having its own intricate and unique position. Thus, the work involved is of high skill and precision and can only be done by artisans having special training. One unique point about the silk Patola saree is that it is tilted to one side, which means that two people are required to work on one saree at any given time.
What makes the patola saree so priceless is the extreme precision and patience that goes into making it. This is why the patola is considered the ‘ultimate manifestation of weaving perfection’ in India. It requires a mathematical level of precision, with added degrees of fineness and patience. The weaving process is time-consuming. A pure handloom saree can take several months to take its final form. This makes the patola saree such a priceless heirloom in Gujarati culture.
Types of Patola Sarees
The types of patola sarees can be characterized by their unique patterns and geometric designs. The elaborate motifs on these sarees include elephants, flowers, human figurines, parrots, etc. Some designs explore the rich traditions and architecture of Gujarat. The most popular designs have their special names, like the -
Navratna Bhat - defines square shaped patterns
Paan Bhat - peepal leaf motif
Fulvali Bhat - defining floral designs
Nari Bhat - figurines of women
Kunjar Bhat - elephants
The sarees also boast bold and iconic colors. Natural dyes add vibrant colors to the saree, like indigo, turmeric, Katha, natural lakh, madder roots, cochineal, pomegranate, henna, marigold, etc. There is a famous saying in Gujarati that means that the fabric of the patola saree may tear, but its designs and colors will never fade. And that is evident from the dexterity and patience that goes into creating such a perfect saree.
The Patola sarees can be differentiated based on double ikat or single ikat. The double ikat method to manufacture the Patan Patola saree ensures that no one can distinguish between its two sides after the saree is completed. This provides the patola saree with the unique feature of reversibility. It is also resist-dyed horizontally. On the other hand, the Rajkot Patola saree is manufactured using the single ikat method and is resist-dyed vertically.
How The Patola Saree is Different from Other Sarees?
The way the patola saree is weaved in a tilted manner, requiring two or more persons to work in tandem, is unique to the manufacturing of this saree.
Patola sarees weaved using the double ikat method have the unique feature of reversibility, which means the saree can wear from either side since they look perfectly identical.
Patola sarees are only made out of silk since the weavers are of the opinion that cotton would be a waste for such a priceless heirloom.
The time, intricacy, and dexterity involved in making these are reflected in the price. These sarees can be pretty expensive.
The saree has now become a symbol of the affluent class in India, while at the same time, it also represents the rich handloom culture in India. The conscious and continuous efforts by various government and non-government organizations have helped the Patola saree reclaim its high place in society.
Patola sarees are originated from a Gujarati town Patan. It has a double ikat weave. It is believed that almost 700 silk weavers of Salvi Caste of Karnataka and Maharashtra shifted to Gujarat in the 12th century to get the support of Solanki Rajputs, who were ruling on Gujarat at that time. They started the manufacturing of Patola silk. The religious text Narsinha Puran has also mentioned that this fabric was perfected during the holy and special occasions.
The original Patola Saree can price between 1,00,000/- to 3,00,000/- and it is because a single saree takes quite a long time and effort to get manufactured. Due to the extensive time and labour, these become costly. Also, the vegetable dye is used in designing these silk saree, which makes it more costly.
Patola sarees are found in two different types- Rajkot Patola and Patan Patola. These two are differentiated as per their origin. The Rajkot Patola has the single ikat weaves that are dyed in a vertical manner, while Patal Patola has the double ikat weaves and are dyed in a horizontal manner.
Patola sarees are manufactured using the double resist dyeing process. The natural dye is used in it which makes your saree look beautiful. Because of that, the colour of your Patola saree will never fade out. You can wear it for up to 100 years. Even after this much of time, your saree may be torn off, but then also its colour will remain the same. This makes it an ideal saree for every women.
The Emerald Beads jewellery or kundan jewellery will look the best with your Patola saree. According to your saree style, you can also go for temple jewellery. If you are not able to decide the best jewellery for yourself, simply go for gold, silver or same colour jewellery. They will look perfect with your saree. Go for a necklace, earrings, bangles and payal and make it a perfect set.