112.0 x 524.0cm [weft x warp]
This sari from the Pochampalli region of Andhra Pradesh is testimony to the importance of the Gujarati 'patola' cloth as a trade textile, as much of the Andhra tradition of 'ikat' dyeing originated from the foreign demand for this double-'ikat' cloth. The Andhra tradition of 'ikat' is a relatively recent phenomenon, with the earliest 'ikat' textiles from this region dating to the late 19th century and made exclusively for the Arab market. It was not until the 1970s that the double 'ikat' Pochampalli saris, closely following the 'patola' design and colouring, became fashionable. This Pochampalli 'ikat' fuses the floral and vegetal patterns used in traditional 'patola' design with chequerboard structure of Islamic cloth, transforming the motif into a modern 'fashion sari' with the use of bold, bright colour. Although, technically, this sari incorporates a warp 'ikat' design on the body and a weft 'ikat' for the borders it is nowhere as complex and time consuming to produce as the 'patola'. It does, however, attest to the importance, and continuing influence of the 'patola cloths in Indian textile design traditions.
Asian Art Department, AGNSW, August 2000