Traditional Craftsmanship > Pattamadai Mats

Pattamadai Mats

Pattamaadai mats are silk mats also called Pattu paai that originated in a small village in Thirunalveli district of Tamil Nadu. The art and craft of weaving and blending intricate designs of Pattamadai mats are considered unique to this region. Made of a special kind of grass called "Korai/Gorai"- it is also called is also called Korai or Gorai paai. The conventional method of mat making is a lengthy processes of drying, soaking, splitting and dyeing the grass.

Pattamadai paais are made specially for wedding ceremonies. It is a token for making the occasion memorable and has the bride and the groom's names as well as the wedding date woven in it.

The traditional colours used are red, green and black and the weaves range from medium colour to 140 counts in the silk or pattu mat. The old pattern consists mainly of stripes at the two ends or streaks through the body. Design inputs by modern designers have led to the making of more contemporary mats which are greatly in demand both in the international and national markets. Today, apart from the sophisticated Pattamdai pai (mat), Pattamadai weavers also craft korai grass shopping bags, place mats, runners, office folders and other items.

Today the traditional weaving process faces a tough competition from increased domestic and international demand and supply imbalance which has led to increased use of synthetic dyes, lesser focus on benefits for the weaver and a shorter production period. With plastic mats entering into the market, silk mat industry is slowly on the decline


Contributed by Vanitha and Team, CEE South

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