Ikat is a confusion known to many, well, let us help you walk through it.
It’s a tie-dye technique in essence.
Tie-dye is a type of fabric printing technique. The fabric is twisted and tied in a manner that the dye doesn’t seep in where the fabric is dyed. Tied with a special tie-dye thread, the colour doesn’t seep in through the knots and creates a unique pattern every time.
Now that is tying and dyeing of fabric. Ikat is a tie-dye technique for yarns. The basic unit of fabric, yarn, is tied and dyed according to the design provided.
To weave a fabric, two yarns are interlaced at a 90-degree angle. One of the yarns, called warp yarn is fixed on the loom longitudinally and the other yarn, which is the weft yarn, is weaved across the loom with a shuttle.
This is called Ikat- the tying and dying of yarns before weaving them.
There is Single Ikat and Double Ikat.
Single Ikat is when either of the yarns is tied and dyed, Weft Ikat or Warp Ikat.
Weft Ikat is when the weft yarn (horizontal) is tied and dyed according to the design and the warp yarn (vertical) is dyed a plain color
Warp Ikat is easier to weave.
When warp (vertical) yarn is tied and dyed, it is fixed on the loom and then the warp yarn is weaved through it on the loom.
This way, the artisan can see the design straight in front of him.
In Warp Ikat, the design emerges as the weaving moves forward. The artisan weaving such designs are highly skilled and patient. Kudos to their creativity and caliber!
Double Ikat is when both warp and weft are tied and dyed. Here the difficulty level magnifies and precision is even more difficult, but the artisans always deliver the desirable.
Double Ikat is rarer and can be found only in 3 countries, India, Japan, and Indonesia.
Since the design is created on the yarn itself, both sides of the fabric come out printed and there’s no right side to the Ikat fabric.
The difficulty in the precision of the design makes it come out as blurry which is considered one of its identifiable qualities and is prized by textile collectors and consumers.
Giving the wearer a flair of authenticity and originality, Ikat has placed itself in the hearts of many.
Though it is very famous in India, Ikat does not have an Indian origin. Nobody knows where it originated since its history is spread out far and wide through the globe. The techniques history can be found across the plains of Central Asia, India, Africa, Latin America, etc.
Ikat has been a part of India as far back as the 7th Century. It could be seen in the murals of Ajanta and Ellora. Whereas it was brought to us through the trade ties with China and Indonesia in ancient times. It developed as a major textile art mainly in 3 regions – Andhra Pradesh/Telangana, Gujarat, and Orissa.
Given the cultural impact every place has on its art, Ikat created its own distinct identity of patterns and dyeing.
Andhra Pradesh and Telangana offer us their Telia Rumal and Pochampally Ikat.
Puttapaka sarees, a Telanagana textile delicacy, is a warp Ikat, majorly sold under the popular name of Pochampallis.
Odisha offers us Sambalpuri Ikat, Pasapalli and Rajkot Patola.
Whereas Gujarat offers us it’s rare Patola which is a double silk Ikat.
The many beautiful Ikats I tell you!
Genuine Patolas are very rare, expensive, and take a great artisan to create it.
To weave a silk yarn as double Ikat is a tremendous feat to achieve.
Since Ikat is a technique, all sorts of yarns are used, though cotton and silk remain the most common ones.
Ikat is a traditional, handloom, made in India, sophisticated fabric that helps you enrich your closet and style statement.
Wanna take a look through our Ikat collections?
Give it a shot and let us know what you think!