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Patan is an Ancient town situated in Ahmedabad and on the banks of sacred river “Saraswati”. This great city was founded by Vanraj Chavda who was the ruler of Chavda Dynasty in 746 AD. The city was also the capital of Gujarat for almost 600 years. The town has the beauty of traditional Gujarati architecture. The traditional houses in the city have beautifully carved wooden facades. The hand woven Patola sarees are the specialty of the city.
As already mentioned, Patan is well known for its hand woven Patola sarees. These sarees have no comparison. Patola sarees are known for their excellent geometrical carvings by the weavers. These delicate patterns are woven with great precision and clarity, thus making Patola one of the finest fabrics all over the country till today.
Patola Sarees of Patan
These saris are originally woven by the Salvi community living in Patan in four distinct styles. For Jains, they weave this saree using pattern of flowers, elephants, dancing figures and parrots. For Muslim, they use beautiful geometrical patters with floral designs. There are sareers which are woven for the Maharashtrian Brahmins using borders on dark colored body. These sarees are known as NariKunj Sarees in Maharashtra. Even Patola sarees are also exported to various countries in the Far East.
There is a famous saying in Gujarat about these sarees and that is the fabric of Patola may tear but the colors will never fade and it really holds true for these saris. It is worthwhile to mention that it nearly takes 4 to 6 months to weave a Patola saree. Apart from this the city is also known for its ari work on textiles due to some passing influences from Banaskantha district. There is no denying the fact that state of Gujarat is blessed with vibrant and rich tradition of handicrafts.
Architecture of Patan
Even, if you look at the old Havelis of Patan and Sidhpur, you will find an excellent art of intricate wood work which is still maintained by wood carvers by doing certain embellishments on the same. Till date there are many traditional houses in Patan on which you will find excellent woodcarvings which exhibits excellent work done by the weaves of Patan. You will not stop yourself praising about them.
There are people from different communities who are settled in Patan and they all excel in their unique way as far as the art on textile is concerned. Even some of them do excellent artwork in silver jewellery, which is worth appreciating.
Mashru of Patan
Patan is also considered to be one of the most important centers where Mashru is woven. Mashru is basically a fabric which is woven using combination of silk and cotton. It is well known for its bold patterns and colors. This fabric is basically worn by Muslim men as they are prohibited to wear pure silk directly. It was believed that tradition of weaving Mashru has got its influence from the Arab and Iraq countries.
Words really seem less in praising about the art and craft of this great city. Salute to the weavers of Patan who have not only made a name in India but has also made their name in the international countries too making India proud of them.