EMBROIDERIES OF INDIA / PATOLA WORK / HISTORY
Patola has a royal history. Silk weavers of the Salvi caste from Karnataka and Maharashtra happened to settle in Gujarat in the 12th century, when the Chalukya Rajputs ruled over Malwa and Gujarat. It is said that Raja Kumarpal, the king of the Solanki dynasty, conquered parts of Maharashtra and shifted the base of the weavers living in Jalna, in south Maharashtra, to Patan, in the northern part of Gujarat. King Kumar Pal, an ardent follower of Jainism, popularised Patan patolas by donning them for all festivities and significant occasions. He believed in wearing new silken attire for every ceremony and later giving them as gifts. He also promoted the use of these outfits among his noble gentry.
The Solanki Empire fell, but the popularity of patolas remained. Trade flourished and patola cloth became popular among elites over a wide geographic area. Patola sarees became a sign of social status among Gujarati women and girls, especially as part of stree dhan, items that a woman can claim as her own property within the marital household.