In Gujarat lies a small town of weavers, named Patan. Originally a settler’s region of weavers from Maharashtra and Karnataka, who carried a magic skill of the mesmerizing Patola. All for the mighty king Kumarpala, who wanted a new Patola every single Day for his temple visits. While this majestic art form needed to many months to craft the final products, he employed over 700 artisans just so that, he wouldn’t run out of these majestic weaves.
The designs are as old as the history of Patan itself. Rani ka Vav , an architectural magic in Patan, has the geometric carvings which you could still find on almost every Patola saree, such is the magic of it.
These Patola patterns are very identical and incredibly geometric. While it looks like a simple saree hand loomed, let me mention here ladies, that there is a very intricate Tie and Dye method involved, which perhaps is the most difficult in the history of looms. And depending on the number of colors, the dying is done each time for each color. Well, it is more likely a masterpiece that just 6 yards of a drape. Isn’t?
The price is a hefty for these master weaves of Patola, but once you are familiar with the weaving process involved, you would understand that the price tag is still an understatement for the effort put into that stunning piece of Art. Close to an year is what it takes to weaves one single Saree, Yes, Absolutely no Kidding here. However as everything now has a dupe, Chinese screen printing techniques are now mass producing cheap, printed sarees and passing them as Patolas. While the texture and the majesty can never be matched with the dupes, it’s better to keep an eye on fraudulent Patolas.
We were so happy when Kankatala announced their new addition of Patolas which are directly sourced from the 16th Generation family of weaver’s with utmost care and customized completely for the line of Kankatala. As the promise of Kankatala goes, every saree in their store is inspected by at least one of the Kankatala family member themselves. Isn’t that one way to show their utmost interest and respect for the weaves? While these Patola sarees wont last too long on their website, make sure you grab one before they are gone. You are assured to have acquired a piece of heirloom history if you ever get your hands on a Patan Patola.