One of the most technically complex of all textiles, the silk double-ikat patolais made only in the west Indian region of Gujarat. In India, patolawere considered to be highly auspicious and were thought to protect the wearer from sickness and misfortune. Patolaalso served a religious function: they were presented to Hindu priests as gifts for the gods, used to dress Hindu deities and decorate temple shrines.
The motifs found on patolarange from floral and geometric forms to bird, animal and human imagery. The creators produce various styles of patolato suit market tastes, and particular motifs and designs have become affiliated with different cultural and religious groups. This patola, with a diagonal lozenge grid of heart-shaped leaves and oval jewels, was favoured by the Vohra Muslim communities of India.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2011
From: Asian gallery extended display label