MATERIALS USED FOR MANUSCRIPTS – CLOTH

          Cloth was also used for writing. Since it is not durable books were not copied into it. A layer of rice or wheat pulp is spread on the surface to write on it. This type of cloth is called as Paṭa, Paṭikā and Kārpāsika paṭa. Yājñavalkya smṛti too speaks of writing on Paṭa.

          पटे वा ताम्रपटे वा स्वमुद्रोपचिह्नितम्।

      The earliest mention of cloth in writing field is mentioned in the Nasik inscription. Bāṇa refers writing on cloth in his Harṣacarita. Veṇisaṃhāra, a play written by Bhaṭṭanārāyaṇa, too gives the detail that Karṇa wrote a letter on his turban to Duryodhana from the battlefield.

          Dharmavidhi of Śri Prabhāsūri written on 38 cms broad cloth and dated as 1361 CE. The manuscript is preserved in Patan śāstra bhāṇḍār,

          Paṭa citras with maṇḍalas written on it is found on cloths. The Prince of Wales Musuem, Bombay, has Paṭa citras collected from Nepal.

          Mysore Oriental Research institute too has some specimen for cloth manuscripts of 17th CE.

KAḌITA

          A paste of powder of fried Tamarind seeds mixed with powdered charcoal on both sides on both sides of cloth, dried and polished with a smooth stone. This is used as a slate and chalk is used for writing. Such material is named as Kaḍita or Kaḍata. This was only used in Karṇāṭaka state only. śṛṅgeri śāradā mutt has number of such Kaḍitas.

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