In 2014, when Bengaluru-based Hemalatha Jain set out to revive Patteda Anchu, a handloom weave from North Karnataka, in Gajendragarh in Gadag, she was also set for the challenges that would come with the revival of the 19th-century saree.
The drape was popular among the lower and middle-class families of North Karnataka and was given as a father’s gift to a bride at her wedding. Made in a coarse cotton and colours like yellow, red and green, Patteda Anchu by Hemalatha is available in natural and eco-friendly enzyme developed dyes.
Having done her PhD on the weave, Hemalatha began working on it with a sample given to her by a woman that belonged to her great grandmother. Tests revealed that it was at least 200 years old. However, Hemalatha’s concerted efforts have led to the revival of Patteda Anchu, but the path ahead is fraught with more challenges.
She says that while the drape was left to die over a period of time, her revival has brought about an army of claimants over its legacy.
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