04 Apr Discovering the Beauty of Ikat in all its Glory
An amalgam of beautiful colours and patterns, Ikat has transcended boundaries to become a raging trend across the globe. It is a dyeing technique that is used to pattern textile yarns before they are woven into a fabric. It is an Indonesian word, which literally means ‘to tie’. Rubber threads or bundles of grass are ‘tied’ to loose threads and dyed to showcase beautiful designs. Although Ikat cannot be traced back to its origin, it was a predominant dyeing technique practised across Asia.
The Ikat Making Process
> Ikat artisans first draw a desired pattern on the yarns by hand.
> The yarns are now tied using wax threads or impermeable substances to match the drawn pattern.
> The tied yarns are dyed in specific shades to impart colour on the untied part; the tied part retains the yarn’s original colour.
> The yarn is now untied and strung on the loom to begin the weaving process.
Types of Ikat Fabric
In this type of weave, only the warp yarn is dyed using the Ikat technique. The weft yarn, on the other hand, is dyed a solid colour. With this technique, the Ikat pattern is clearly visible in the warp yarns even before the weft is woven in.
In this type, only the weft yarn has the dyed patterns. The Ikat pattern only starts appearing as the weaving proceeds on the loom. This is a much slower and skilful process as it requires the weaver to adjust the weft in order to get clarity on the design.
In this technique, both the warp and weft yarns are dyed and woven together to form colourful and intricate Ikat patterns. This type is undoubtedly the most complex and expensive of all Ikat fabrics. Double Ikat however only practised in Indonesia, Japan and India.
Today, however, Ikat patterns are not just limited to fabrics. They are used in everything from high-fashion to interior decoration. The whimsical patterns and bold colours of Ikat give it the quintessential bohemian vibe and make it a preferred motif for jewellery, accessories and shoes in all parts of the world.
We too have been inspired by the beauty of this pattern and tried to bring out its charm in our jewellery.
STAY TUNED, as tomorrow we unveil the weaves of Ikat reimagined in gold.
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