The word Patola is derived from the Sanskrit word “pattakulla”, which means silk fabric. The fabric was a symbol of wealth and faith for King Kumarpal of the Solanki Dynasty in Patan. In the highest regards, the King saw that Patola, as it was believed that the fabric kept the devil and bad health at bay. Since the weaving takes at least six months of rigorous work, the King hired 700 families for Patola weaving. That is how Patan became the hub for this art form between the 11th and 13th centuries.
But over the centuries, highly talented weavers shifted towards other professions. Today, only a handful of weavers remain who possess this intricate craft of double ikat. The Salvi family is one of them, and they have safe-guarded the art for over 900 years.
The Salvi Family is the only family in Patan that weaves patolas from natural dyes like indigo, turmeric, pomegranate skin and marigold flowers. In addition, this family set up Patan Patola Heritage, a museum that showcases the oldest pieces of Patola art form.