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'patola' shouldercloth

19th century


Unknown Artist

  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Gujarat India
    Cultural origin
    made for the Indonesian market
    19th century
    Media category
    Materials used
    silk, natural dyes; double 'ikat'
    85.4 x 266.3 cm
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Bequest of Alex Biancardi 2000
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

  • About

    It is believed that the 'patolu', an intricate style of double-'ikat' cloth, was being made in India from as early as the 13th century. The central field, border designs and colouring of this ‘patolu’ is typically Indian with a complex geometric design of embellished crosses, roundel and eight-pointed star motifs in red, white and yellow on a black ground. It has been woven into a 'selendang' or shoulder cloth, indicating that it had been made specifically for the Indonesian market. The intricacy and complexity of the five-colour 'patola' patterns were highly sought after throughout Southeast Asia, and particularly in Indonesia, where textiles were a recognised means of storing wealth and had an exchange value. Textiles were also important as gifts to consolidate relations and allegiances and were an integral part of diplomatic and court protocol and in this context 'patola' cloths were a highly valued, highly sought after and much copied textile.

    Asian Art Department, AGNSW, August 2000.