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Sunder Nursery, Nizamuddin, New Delhi

The exquisite and painstaking art of double ikat Patola from the area of Patan in North Gujarat is one of the most complex and beautiful heritage weaves of India. With its unique gem-like qualities - gorgeous colours, designs and durability, its very appearance lures the connoisseur of fine textiles. It has no reverse side; both the sides have equal intensity of color and design. This peculiar quality has its origins in a very intricate and difficult technique of tie dyeing or knot dyeing known as bandhani on the wrap & weft separately before weaving. Each sari takes four – six months to weave if two people work on it five days a week. The Salvi family is one of a handful of craftsmen who have continued this traditional art and preserved it since the 11th century. Approximately 35 successive generations of the Salvi family have nurtured this stunning weaving technique over this period. Amongst them have been luminaries such as National Award winner Vinayak Kantilal Salvi. Over the last few years, the family has been researching the old indigenous process of using vegetable ingredients to obtain different shades. Dwelling on the colour of the patola, a Gujarati poet wrote; "Padi patole bhat faatey pan phite nahin" meaning the design laid down in the patola may be torn, but it shall never fade.