Weaving from Memory

Patteda anchu saris on display

Patteda anchu saris on display

By Ektaa Malik 

ne sees neatly stacked saris all around at the Haat Studio of the Dastakari Haat Samiti at Meharchand Market. The saris, which range from muted offerings to colour block, have a uniform sheen to them — courtesy the inlaid checks. This is the famous patteda anchu weave, from north Karnataka. The quest to locate and trace the weave took on folklore proportions, almost bordering on the mythical. Hemlata Jain, a crafts revivalist who had been working with the Karnataka Handloom Board for several years, had always heard about this chequered weave, but had never laid her eyes on it. “In my initial research that I conducted in North Karnataka in villages like Gajendragarh, Belgaum, Raichur, Bellary and others, I noticed that they were all using power looms. Many old weaves and techniques had died, and synthetic fabric was being used. I would keep hearing about patteda anchu and how it was always a part of the wedding trousseau of a bride, especially given to her by the father as a blessing. It would first be offered to the Yellama goddess, and then gifted to the daughter. There were also stories about the devadasis getting them as a traditional offering,” shares Jain, who holds a PhD in the weave from NIFT, Delhi.


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Credit: indianexpress.com