About 130km northwest of Ahmedabad, Patan was Gujarat’s capital for six centuries before Ahmedabad was founded in 1411. It was ruined by the armies of Ala-ud-Din Khilji around 1300, and today is a dusty, little town with narrow streets lined by elaborate wooden houses.
Patan is famed, far and wide, for its beautiful Patola silk textiles, produced by the torturously laborious double-ikat method. Both the warp (lengthways) and weft (transverse) threads are painstakingly tie-dyed to create the pattern before the weaving process begins. It takes about six months to make one sari, which might cost ₹180,000.