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Salvi family in Gujarat's Patan involved in Patola sarees weaving
Salvi family in Gujarat's Patan involved in Patola sarees weaving

This family in Gujarat keeps 900-year-old heritage of Patola sarees alive

By Payal Mehta | Updated: Nov 25, 2022 23:18 IST

Patan (Gujarat) [India], November 25 (ANI): The ancient craft of Patola sarees dates back to the 11th century and the Salvi family in Patan has been carrying on their legacy of the craftwork for generations.
King Kumarpal of the Solanki dynasty had some 700 families of Patola weavers who migrated from Jalna (Maharashtra) to settle in Patan in North Gujarat, and the Salvis are among them.
Speaking to ANI, 68-year-old Bharat Salvi, one of the eldest members of the family, narrated the history of Patola silk.
"This Patola loom came here in the 11th century when the king wanted to use Patola each day for his poojas. He was a Jain. We still continue to use traditional natural dyes," Salvi said.

What makes Patola stand out from other silks, Salvi said, "It is not a saree that carries a printed design. Instead, it is so intricately tied and dyed that creates a design," sexagenarian said.
A genuine Patola saree with the Salvis starts from Rs 1.5 lakh and can cost upto Rs 6 lakh depending on the intricacies.
Rohit Salvi, who is in his seventies said, "It takes about six months and around 18-19 processes to prepare the saree. We buy the raw silk from Bengaluru and then multiple processes are followed including bleaching and softening of the silk strands."
Explaining further, he said on average 4-5 colours are used on the saree and the time to prepare a saree depends upon the number of colours and the intricacy of the designs.
"We need 4-5 workers to prepare a saree and it is all about teamwork. We work on the designing and the tying and dying process. Weavers are centuries old and there has been no machine that can replace this man-made labour," Rohit Salvi said.
44-year-old Rahul Salvi gave up the lucrative career of becoming an architect and took up the family tradition. In fact, he is the 28th generation that is into Patola saree weaving.
"We have been in this profession for the last 900 years and I am the 28th generation. Though an architect by profession, I took up the family tradition and have mastered it over the last 22 years," Rahul told ANI.
With a cheaper version now available and a lot of mixed thread work available, Salvis said it is genuinely a concern for the craft which is both rare as well is expensive.
"We have seen that a lot of cheaper versions of the single and double Ikat are available in the market and are being sold under the GI tag. We have not fallen for this and we are not really worried but the only thing is we have to explain to people that genuine Patola sarees cannot be made cheap," Rahul Salvi said.
Salvi family Patola sarees on an order basis and is far away from looking at exporting opportunities even though they get NRI orders who take a lot of interest in the Patola handloom.
"We have no monetary demands from the government but we expect that they will do their bit to promote these rare arts and artisans who were keeping these art forms alive," Rahul Salvi said.
The famous Patola handloom of Gujarat came into the limelight recently when Prime Minister Narendra Modi during G20 meeting in Bali, Indonesia gifted a Patola saree to Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni made by the Salvi family.
"When the Prime Minister takes rural Gujarat at global stage and gifts our craft to the foreign head of governments naturally becomes a very proud moment for us," the Salvis said.
From 70-year-old Rohit Salvi to 37-year-old Savan Salvi, nine members of the Salvi family including four women, continue their stride to preserve this rare craft. (ANI)