The identity of the saree is said to come from its weavers. The love and care with which the weavers bring these sarees to life give this clothing its identity. However, when it comes to Patachitra saree, the identity resides in our culture and tradition. The highlight of Patachitra saree is the beautiful artwork that adorns the entirety of the saree and majorly the pallu.
The literal Sanskrit meaning of Patachitra is pictures drawn on cloth. It is an ancient art form of India that originated in Orissa. Patachitra painting is closely associated with the stories and worship of Lord Jagannath, Ramayana, and Mahabharata. The stories of Radha and Krishna is also one of the main themes of this painting style.
An Organic Art form from India
A lot of hard work is involved in preserving the original look and appeal of this kind of painting. What makes Patachitra stand out from the crowd is the fact that the colours used for this art form are completely natural and organic. For example, the harikala stone is used for making the colour yellow, conch shells are used for white, and hingula is used as the red colour.
Patachitra is a disciplined art form and requires the artist to follow a set of rules and regulations.
A true Patachitra picture will have a floral border and the usage of natural colours gives a single tonality to the overall picture and creates a distinct look that cannot be replicated in any other art form. Due to the intricate detailing, a single Patachitra can take a fortnight to finish. Therefore a Patachitra saree takes quite some time to finish and each one is a unique piece - the only one of its kind.
From Canvas to Clothes: How did Patachitra expand its base?
Over time, Patachitra art spilled from the canvas onto cloth and the emergence of Patachitra sarees took place. From murals to fabrics, the weavers teamed up with Patachitra artists to keep this ancient art form alive in the modern world. Unlike the other forms of art that faded in time due to the lack of enterprise, Patachitra artists today have taken matters in their own hands and take pride in running their own business by cutting out the middlemen from the dealings. Though in the past the art form was mainly practiced by men, many women and girls have taken it up as their full-time vocation.
Patachitra Saree: The Melting Pot of Sustainability and Tradition
If you are eco-conscious and care about the environment, then the Patachitra saree is for you. As stated earlier, Patachitra paintings are created using organic colours and are completely sustainable. Thus, Patachitra saree is where tradition and sustainability meet to create elegance.