Hand Woven Ikat
Ikat is an Indonesian term meaning "to tie", a technique commonly used for a type of resist dyeing which has been practiced in a number of cultures, such as South America, Central Asia and Japan. In India there are numerous centers famous for their traditional Ikat textiles, including Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa.
In Ikat, the unwoven threads are tied and dyed. Before the warp (vertical) threads are attached to the loom, they are arranged in bundles that are tightly wrapped and tied with string in certain places to prevent dye penetration. Then each tied bundle is immersed in dye. Multiple colors can be applied and the bundles can be re-tied and re-dyed to create more complicated designs. In double ikat, both the warp and the weft (horizontal) threads are tied and dyed.
Both the tying and the dyeing are carefully planned so that the threads will produce a specific pattern when they are woven together. This is a very challenging technique, both in the planning and in the execution. Even a small miscalculation can result in chaos! Most Ikat designs have characteristic fuzzy edges as the threads come together to form a shape. This is considered part of its charm, as long as the pattern is basically intact. In fact, Ikat is such an appealing design that the market is flooded with imitation machine-printed "Ikat" fabric. One way to tell if it is the real thing is to look at the reverse of the fabric. In the authentic woven Ikat they should be identical.
Mallikaraju Handloom Fabrics produces our Ikat fabric.