The ancient art of patola weaving (double Ikkat), dating back to the 4th century A.D. originated in Patan, North Gujarat.
Epics like the Ramayan and Narsinha Puran refer to the use of Patola in marriage ceremonies as an auspicious garment. This traditional art received great patronage during the Chalukya period. Till today the special technique of the handmade silk Patola uses the same special technique for weaving from raw silk to the completion of the Patola fabric. The weaver makes the special Patola loom and colouring from indigenous natural materials. The main patola designs are pan bhat - leaf design, ratan chok bhat - jewel square, popat kunjar bhat - parrot and elephant design, nari kunjar bhat - woman and elephant design, chhabadi bhat - basket design and vohra gali bhat - pattern preferred by Vohra Muslims.
The designs, which may comprise floral or animal motifs, are first drawn on paper to achieve accuracy and accordingly warp and weft are tied into knots and then dyed into different colours. The weaving needs care in uniting a particular colour in the weft with that in the warp. Only 5 to 6 inches a day can be woven to achieve a smooth and identical finish on both sides of the fabric. The magnificent coloured highly prized Patola saree takes nearly one to one & half years to complete and is preserved as an heirloom.