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Dress (sari)

Patola are highly valued in Indonesia, particularly on the island of Sumatra, where Indian traders have exchanged them for spices since ancient times. In eastern Indonesia, a patolu was traditionally kept in each clan house as a protective talisman. The balanced lattice patterns inspired similar designs on Indonesian printed cottons, batiks, and warp ikat textiles. In Tenganan, on the island of Bali, fragments of Indian patola are considered magical and used in healing ceremonies along with locally woven geringsing (also a double ikat textile).

Where was this textile created?

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The Patolu

Dress (sari)
Asia: South Asia, India, Eastern India, Orissa
Mid 20th century
Silk metallic and cotton threads, warp and weft tied and dyed
490 cm x 118 cm
Gift of Dr. Howard Gorman
T86.0304 Textile Museum of Canada

This delicate silk sari is a preferred garment for weddings in Gujarat, India. It features a border, an end filled with elephants, birds and dancing figures, and a centre field of stylized red flowers. It was created by tying and dyeing warp and weft threads in patterns, and then weaving them together.

A great deal of technical skill is required to tie and dye fine silk warp or weft threads to create a textile; to dye them both and then combine them is textile mastery of the highest degree.

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