The Patola, a hand made Silken Textile manufactured at Patan, in North Gujarat is an art. Historically atleast several centuries old it is recorded in the religious books like Ramayan and Narsinha Puran that Patola were used in great ceremony and in the marriage as a holy charm dressing. In the period of Ram-Rajya, king Jank had presented Patola to Sitaji (wife of God Ram). Also in the period of great Lord Krishan, Narsinha Mehta (great devotee of Lord Krishna) had presented Patola to Kunvarbai. It is believed that this tradition art received great patronage during the Chalukya period of King Kumarpul reign as before 800 (approx.) years. During the period of King Kumarpul, the queen used to wear a new Patola (sari) every day. This is also recorded in the autobiography of Kumarpal. The art of Patola weaving is an ancient one. According to some historinas, the art of Patola weaving was known also in the 7th Century in “Ajanta” caves (near Mumbai, India) which resembles the tie-dyes technique of patola.

The designs are first drawn on papers to achieve accuracy in tie & knots, and then transferred to looms, with great care and cautiousness. A craftsman (Weaver) can weave only five to six inches within a day. After working for 10 to 12 hours, no Sunday holiday and whole family working together, it takes one and half year to complete a patola saree.

For natural dyes, the HARDA TREATMENT is critical. The material used is Harda powder, Baheda Powder, Nag Kesar, Tamal patta. The next step is second is Mordant Application. The material is Tin chloride, alum, Pattasim Dichromate, Copper sulphate.

Following are the seven main processes of preparing a Patan Patola.

  • Process of making silk pure. (Conversion of raw silk in to pure silk).
  • Process of making warp and weft.
  • Process of tieding the knots on warp and weft.
  • Process of dyeing.
  • Process of weaving.
  • Process of adjusting each threads of warp and weft.
  • Process of finishing the fabrics.

Each main process is also sub divided into 3 to 4 sub processes. In short, total process of making patols are 22 to 25 starting from sorting the silk threads, ‘ de-gumming’ and weaving.

The Patolas are produced from thousand of years by the same process as it was before till to day. No technician is in position ot make a single percent modification in the technique and the process of preparing of Patola, as it is a special technique. Since 1920 only four families are connected in traditional art. SALVI KANUBHAI MAFATLAL PATOLAWALA is one of them.



Family Weaving on a Patola Loom Preparing a Weft Process of Spinning