PATOLA SAREES – The Royal Silk Saree

Saree has become an identity of Indian women who chooses any of the outfit in her collection that may be western or Indian, but loves to keep each and every variety of saree in her wardrobe. And why not, India has a great variety of sarees which differs from material to work done on it. Among all varieties of sarees like banarasi, silk, kanjeevaram, cotton, chiffon, Patola saree is a unique one. Patola saree is considered royal as it is hand made and ranges high.

Patola is a handloom silk saree originated from Patan, a place in Gujarat. The name Patola is derived from a Sanskrit word Pattakulla. Patola sarees are well known for their clarity and quality. So, it is also known as the “Queen of Silks“. They are famous all over the world for their high designed pattern. Geometric designs are woven by the master weavers on Patola silk that specifies Patola Sarees. These designs indicate the skill and art work of the weaver. Other than Patan, these are also famous in Surat.

Patola Sarees came into existence due to the presence and settlement of Salvi weavers from Karnataka and Maharashtra in Patan. They were deeply encouraged by Royal Solanki Rajputs and the substantial people of Gujarat. Some people say that these sarees are in existence from the twelfth century but historical proofs say that they are in existence from the thirteenth century and always represent the ritualistic associations.

The portrait of Patola designs can be seen on the walls of some south Indian temples, such as at Mattancherry in Kerala and Padmanabhapuram in Southern Tamilnadu. From that Era, the Patola sarees became a status symbol to Gujarati girls and also one of the finest parts of the women closet. As Patola Sarees are invented by the Hindu Salvi caste and traded to South-East Asia, they were worn by the Vohras, Jains and Hindus such as Brahmins and Bhatia traders for weddings and other auspicious occasions. These sarees are costly due to its high-status orientation and became a symbol of status in the wedding brocade dresses.

Patola saree consist of general designs such as animals, flowers, human figures and birds. The present trend is having some Geometric designs with folk motifs and flaming colors which attracted the wearers that obtained momentum from the old-age traditional Muslim architectural designs. Some of the ikkat sarees are well decorated with Kundan and Zardosi for special occasions. The fabric is having brocade with heavy texture. The pallus or anchals are tangled and the borders are finished with warm colors and rich designs. The double ikkat sarees consists of designs such as parrots, flowers, elephants and dancing figures. These are mainly used by Jains and Hindus as wedding brocade dresses, Muslim Vohra communities prefer Geometric and floral designs for bridal wear, Maharashtrian Brahmins prefer sarees with the plain dark colored body, figures of women and birds which are a special variety of sarees in Patola, known as Nari KunJ.

Patola sarees are classified into two types depending on the pattern of weaving such as: Rajkot Patola – These are the single ikkat and vertically resist-dyed sarees which can be made easily within a short period of time when compared to Patan Patola sarees. Patan Patola – These are the double ikkat pattern and horizontally resist-dyed sarees wharves is having most complicated textile design in the whole world. The special attraction of the saree is having the same design on both sides and can be draped in either way.

Patola sarees have five-colored designs and both warp and weft threads are resist-dyed before weaving which results in the reversible fabric. The weaving process is made on traditional handlooms and the first step of making procedure involves wrapping of both warp and weft threads to resist the dye according to the decided pattern of the final woven fabric. The tying is continued for every color which is included in the finished cloth. Dyeing the warp and weft before weaving is called double ikat and the bundles of thread are knotted before dying. These results in showing the same design on both sides that can be draped in either way.

Patola sarees are mostly famous in Patan and Surat also became much more famous for producing Patola Sarees. These sarees are famous for its delicate, beautiful clear pattern, colorful diversity and geometrical style which is done with great precision. As these are made with handlooms, it takes more time for producing due to its design and pattern.

Patola sarees are available in shops and now-a-days they are easily available online as well. Due to it’s high price, only a few people prefer to buy it and also became a status symbol. Similar type of saree in low range is also available in shops. Every women should once try this traditional wear on some special festive occasion. This would bring an elegant look to every women as it is a royal choice.