Saturday, January 11, 2014

* World Famous Korai Silk Mats of Pattamadai in Tamil Nadu, India


Images of these beautiful ultra-soft Silk Mats of Patthamadai, are posted right below the following brief write-up. Please don't miss viewing them, before you shift online elsewhere.

Pathamadai or Pattamadai is a  town in Tirunelveli district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Pathamadai has a mat industry which produces mats crafted out of Korai grass (Reed plant) also known as Indian Chattai. They are flexible and have been gifted to several global leaders and dignitaries in the past, visiting India.

This Silk Mat or 'Pattu Paai' or 'Pattamadai Pai' (mat) is a beautifully crafted floor mat that will remind us of the lovely afternoon naps at our grand parents' house in childhood, during school holidays. The mat is woven using cotton or silk in the weft. The use of silk thread gives a royal sheen and definite appeal to the mat.

The majority of mats made in Patthamadai have cotton warps and Korai (Marsh reed) wefts. Korai grass is found in abundance along the banks of the rivers and in marshy areas in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The most unique aspect of a Pattamadai mat is its ultra-softness and tremendous flexibility. The mats, depending on the weaving, range from soft to super fine. The finest and most closely woven mats are called 'Pattu Pai' or 'Silk Mats' because of their feel like ultra-soft silk. It takes nearly 45 days of soaking and processing, and then about 2 - 3 weeks to make a single mat. The processing and weaving time can extend to nearly 4 months for a super fine 'Pattu Pai'.

In older times, a bride and groom were gifted with a pair of 'Pattamadai Pais' on their wedding date, painstakingly handmade by the weavers, and inscribed with their names and memorable wedding dates. These mats have a very long life and were meant to take the couple through their entire life and its various stages, including the birth of a child and co-sleeping with an infant.

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