17th November, 2022 Culture
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- At the G20 summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi gifted traditional artworks from Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh to world leaders.
- PM Modi presented US President Joe Biden with Kangra miniature paintings; UK PM Rishi Sunak with ‘Mata Ni Pachedi’, a handmade Gujarat textile offered in temples; ‘Pithora’, a tribal folk art from Chhota Udaipur, to Australian leader Anthony Albanese; agate bowls from Kutch to the leaders of France, Germany and Singapore; and a ‘Patan Patola’ scarf to his Italian counterpart Giorgia Meloni.
What is Patan Patola?
- The ancient art of double ikat or Patola woven in pure silk dates back to the 11th century.
- The Patola fabrics bear an equal intensity of colours and design on both sides.
- This peculiar quality has its origins in an intricate and difficult technique of dyeing or knot dyeing, known as ‘bandhani’, on the warp and weft separately before weaving.
- One of the major practitioners of the dwindling art form is the Salvi family from North Gujarat.
- Patola is woven on primitive hand-operated harness looms made out of rosewood and bamboo strips. The loom lies on a slant. The other commonly worn Patola is the Rajkot Patola, woven on a flat loom.
- While possessing and wearing a Patola is considered a matter of pride, the fabric has largely remained inaccessible to common people because of its high price.
The weaving process:
- The process involves warp and weft silk threads that are tied with cotton thread on portions marked with the proposed design. This tied portion then remains unexposed to colours while dyeing, which is followed by tying, untying, redyeing and dyeing in different shades.
- Traditionally, only pure silk and natural and chemical dyes were used, but since the last century, they have been replaced by fast-to-bleach and easy-to-dye chemical colours.
- The product designs based on traditional motifs called “bhat”, which include “narikunj”, “paan”, “phulwadi”, “rasbhat”, flowers, animals birds, human figures, etc.
- In 1342 AD, the traveller Ibn Batuta had carried patolas as gifts to many kings. They were amply used in the 17th and 18th centuries as precious gift items.
- Ikat weaves are also found in Odisha’s famous Sambalpuri sarees, which, unlike Patola, are woven in cotton yarn too, as is the Pochampally saree from Andhra Pradesh.