In the world of textiles perhaps nothing is more popular these days than ikat. It’s fresh and fun, being found on everything from clothing and fashion accessories to upholstery fabric, floor coverings and even iPhone covers, but it is also supremely traditional.
These distinctive prints, which have been evidenced in many diverse cultures over several centuries, are characterized by the dyeing technique used to pattern these interesting textiles. Ikat is created through a process similar to tie-dying where bindings resistant to dye penetration are applied to threads in desired patterns. Then when the individual threads are dyed and the bindings come off you’ve got elaborate, often multi-colored patterns on the individual threads themselves before they are then woven into cloth, as opposed to creating the bindings and patterns AFTER the fabric is woven together as is done in tie-dying.
This procedure typically creates a warped or blurred appearance however, if the fibers are aligned very tightly, the result can resemble a printed textile rather than a woven one. Of course the look can be achieved by printing the pattern onto textiles or other surfaces as is the case with many modern examples.
With these prints, the palate can be peaceful and neutral or just the pop of color you’re looking for. I just love these colorful variations and patterns that can be both bohemian and refined in your home or your closet.
Are you ready to grab some ikat for yourself?!