Ceremonial Cloth thumbnail 1
Ceremonial Cloth thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
South Asia, Room 41

Ceremonial Cloth

late 19th century (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This ceremonial cloth with an elephant-and-tiger design was woven in India for the Indonesian market. Known as a ‘patolu’ (pl. ‘patola’), this type of woven silk was a speciality of Gujarati weavers and involved a highly sophisticated technique. They had to tie and dye the warp and weft threads in patterns and then weave them together to create a pattern on both sides of the cloth.

In Indonesia ‘patola’ were intended for use by the elite. They were worn by members of the nobility, and at times subject to court sumptuary laws prohibiting their use by commoners.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Resist-dyed double ikat silk, cotton
Brief Description
Ceremonial cloth (patola) of resist-dyed double ikat silk with striped cotton borders, Gujarat, late 19th century
Physical Description
Ceremonial cloth (patola) of resist-dyed double ikat silk with striped cotton borders. With a repeating design of rows alternating with tigers and elephants within a grid. The ends have a row of diamond shapes, and another with triangular tumpals. Loose and open weave.
Dimensions
  • Length: 392cm
  • Width: 100cm
Gallery Label
CEREMONIAL CLOTH Silk, resist-dyed in the warp and weft (double ikat) Gujarat, for the Indonesian market 1850-1900 IS.5-1989 These cloths (patola) were, and still are, highly prized in India because of the time-consuming and precise technique of double ikat in which they are made. Patola with designs of tigers and elephants were made mainly for export to South-East Asia, especially Indonesia. There they were used as hangings and canopies in rituals and ceremonies, and were preserved as precious heirlooms.(27/9/2013)
Production
Made for the Indonesian market.
Subjects depicted
Summary
This ceremonial cloth with an elephant-and-tiger design was woven in India for the Indonesian market. Known as a ‘patolu’ (pl. ‘patola’), this type of woven silk was a speciality of Gujarati weavers and involved a highly sophisticated technique. They had to tie and dye the warp and weft threads in patterns and then weave them together to create a pattern on both sides of the cloth.



In Indonesia ‘patola’ were intended for use by the elite. They were worn by members of the nobility, and at times subject to court sumptuary laws prohibiting their use by commoners.
Bibliographic References
  • John Guy, Woven Cargoes. Indian Textiles in the East, Thames and Hudson, 1998, pl. 108. Guy, J., and Swallow, D., (eds). ‘Arts of India: 1550-1900’. London : Victoria and Albert Museum, 1990. ISBN 1851770224.p 26. no.14..
  • Indian ikat textiles / Rosemary Crill. London: V&A Publications, 1998 Number: 1851772421p.56, pl. 43
Collection
Accession Number
IS.5-1989

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record createdDecember 15, 1999
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