28 October 2008

Silk patolas, Gujarat

Silk patolas

And now, after so much subdued colour, something completely different: silk patolas spread for display at the manufacturer's, a small family-run business near Bhuj in north-western Gujarat. The information on the wall said these patolas take on average 10–15 days each to make. Each of the small dots forming the pattern was formed from a tiny wrinkle of cloth tightly wound by hand with cotton to prevent that part from absorbing the dye; we know it as "tie-and-dye" but here, where the art reaches its pinnacle, it's called bandhani ("BUND-a-nee") Even for a bloke like me, they were strikingly beautiful, but capturing the colours and sheen in a photo proved difficult, particularly in the dim indoors. However, the slow shutter speed did capture the movement as he spread them with a flourish.
[1/15 sec., f4, ISO 800]

All content © 2008 Pete McGregor


Anne-Marie said...

Oh my! How gorgeous. I want to pick one of these up and touch it to my face.

I think the movement of the cloth at the top of the photo really adds some thing to it.

pohanginapete said...

Anne-Marie, the texture of these was beautiful. Actually, I felt reluctant to touch them without first washing my hands — as if a ritual cleansing should be undertaken first. I agree about the movement; often decisions like that are intuitive, but in this case it was quite deliberate. Other photos in the series lack the movement; they still have the lovely colours and textures but you're right — the movement adds something.