Thirumalayampalayam department of costume design and fashion study material

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Patola is an artistically ornamented fabric. It is a specimen of wonderful combination of the craft of tie-dyeing (bhandhana) and weaving. Patola is mostly in use as a wedding sari in Kathiawar and Gujarat. In Japan and Indonesia too the Patola fabric is used for wedding dresses. The fabric is so exquisitely and so highly valued that it is handed from generation to generation in the family. Women of Gujarat and Kathiawar treasure the possession of a Patola with pardonable pride.
The elaborate and intricate patterns are the speciality of patola saris. The silky art with which patolas are woven is first dyed by the bhandhana process before it is put on the loom. The yarns, both warp and weft, are dyed in the lightest of the colours, then they are stretched on the ground, and the dyer proceeds to mark certain portions to indicate the lines of the desired design. His wife who helps him in his work, then ties up the marked portions with cotton threads. So tightly that the next dye cannot penetrate through to the tied up portions. The yarn is then immersed in dye- baths of the desired colours and shades. The operation of tie-dye in repeated several times until all the colours and shades required for the planned design have been applied to the yarns. The dyer begins with a light colour, passes next to a bright one and applier the dark colour at the very last. Then the weavers start on his job.
The process of producing a patola is therefore a very laborious one and so in extremely complicated too.
Patola fabric on the other hand called ikkat. The Ahmedabad patola is a, textile of a textile of a unique character. The method of weaving in the Ikkat of Orissa, the Pochampalli textiles and pattola are somewhat similar but the patola weaver has retained his geometrical designs. We may conclude that Ikkat are the innovation of the patola style of weaving.
The following eight designs are used by the weavers of patola;
NARI- JUNDAR BHAT- Dancing girl and an elephant design, has necessarily

a parrot included in it

PAN BHAT (or) LEAF DESIGN- It is said to be the leaf of the scared papal



It has interspersed diamond also.

OKAR BHAT (or) WATER CREST DESIGN- walnut design

PHALVADI BHAT (or) FLORAL DESIGN- It is generally enclosed in

Diapers outlined by a single line. Each diaper contains

Three flowers.


alternate with each other in the design.

CHABRI BHAT (or) BASKET DESIGN- elephant design

CHOWKHADI BHAT- A diaper with a double outline design. Each diaper

included three flowers borne on a slim.
There is one more design which is used for dhotis (the loin cloth worn by men). This design consists of the devangri alphabet and the forms of the letters follow those of the mantras (hymns) in religion as book.
Pattan, a place in Kathiawar, is reputed to be the (birth place of Patola) the weavers of Pattan, later migrated to Bombay, Ahmedabad and Surat and making of Patola started at these places also.

Orissa weavers also have adopted the Patola, technique for weaving their special fabrics like curtains, bed spreads, odhnis (scarf) worn over the head and the head and draped round the shoulders and waist by women and saris. The famous Sambalpore saris are woven like patolas.

It was among the choicest exports from the great textile centre in Surat along the Caravan routes to the markets of Samarkhand, Bohkhara, Baghdad, Basra, Damascus & Rome in the 15th & 16th Centuries. The making of a Patola is a difficult & complicated process. Its unique quality is that the threads of the warp & weft are separately dyed in portions in such a way that the patterns on the finished product emerge in weaving. Patola manufacturer is restricted nowadays but a few rare, choice pieces are still available.

The techniques, the quality and the originality of design of the ikkat textiles of India are unsurpassed. Of special significance is the Patola cloth. Patola weaving is an ancient Indian textile craft well known as a luxbury export to Malaya and Indonesia in the 16th century. Today these fabulous and costly as ‘IKKAT’, a derivative of the Malay word Mengikat, meaning ‘to tie’ or ‘to bind’, this technique entails binding (resisting) and dyeing the warps and weft before weaving.
Whereas the double-ikkat weaving tradition of Gujarat is in danger of education, the weavers of Orissa and Andhra Pradesh have prospered, flooding the hand loomed cloth market with fashionably coloured and patterned single and double Ikkat saris garment and furnishing cloth.
The Ikkat textiles of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa are woven and prepared with essentially the same technique as their illustrious forbears to the west, but the looms and tools are quite different. In Orissa the fine, detailed patterning is achieved by using very thin yarns, and by tying and dyeing small numbers of threads on a rectangular frame. Orissa Ikkats are woven an counter balance fly shuttle, cradle loom, the structure resisting on the edges of the weavers fit. The heddle and harness system hangs from the ceiling and the warps to be woven are either wound on to a cloth beam or run over a beam and tied in the roof space, out of the way. In Andhra Pradesh the warps are tied ready for for dyeing at their full length, whereas the wefts are tied in groups on a frame, fanning out to form the segment of a circle from a control peg. The simple pit loom is anchored in position by posts set firmly in the ground and the warps stretched from the weaver across the room to focus and be wrapped around a post.

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