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Gujarat. India.
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Imported silk cloth prepared from pupae of silkworm is being used for making PATAN NA PATOLA. Commonly silk from China, Japan, Korea and Brazil are used. VANA (warp) and TANA (weft) is made from silk thread and colored with tie and die process. Coloring process takes approximately 2 to 3 months.The silk from China, Korea and Brazil reflects in high quality of Patolu. Raw silk threads are thinner than hair and hence eight such threads are woven together and bleached. Twisting is done to make it strong. The threads thus made are weaved on handloom. Horizontal threads are called VANA (warp) and vertical ones are called TANA (weft).

For preparing sari, design is made on graph paper, then on certain threads (Tana and Vana), which are kept open, the rest are tied by cotton thread. The Tana and Vana thus tied are dipped in colour so that only open threads take up the colour. Now the coloured threads are tied and another colour is to be applied to open threads after immersing in another colour. Thus depending upon the number of colors, tieing and colouring are done. Cotton threads are loosended after all required colours appear on both sides Tana and Vana. The process of colouring the threads takes nearly 75 days.

Weaving Work

In making palan's patolas two persons can weave only 8 to 10 inch of cloth hardly. Because after waving adjustment and finishing work is required to be done. It consumes much time that is 4 to 5 months time for 4 to 5 craftsmen to weave a sari. Preparing patola, skilled labour , precision, calculation and patience and hard work are of most importance.

After colouring work is completed, weaving begins. In general only one man works on the handloom, but for Patola two men are required. Two men can weave hardly 10 inch of cloth in one day. After weaving adjustment and finishing work is required to be done. For weaving one sari, 25 days' time is consumed. Total time required for making one sari is about 3-4 months with help of 3 craftsmen.

Once a small mistake is done in colouring of Tana-Vana, it may not match on the design. Because of hard difficult labour and unique skill involved in preparing patola, few craftsmen have shifted to other business and today only 2-3 families are engaged in this craft.

Colours Used in Patola

In those days when chemical colours were not invented, colours were made from different plants. Among these natural colours, Wax, Indigo, Pomegranate bark, Katho, Majith, Kapilo, Alum, Kirmaj, Harsingar, Bojgar, Iron rust, Logware, Turmeric etc. Nowadays, Chemical dyes and colours are in great use. However, those who insist for natural colours Patolas are made to order for customer's satisfaction.

• Geographical indication tag to Patan na patola Click here

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