Ikat is a dyeing technique used to pattern textiles that employs a resist dyeing process on the Warp fibres, the Weftfibres, or in the rare and costly 'double ikat' both warp and weft, prior to dyeing and weaving.
In ikat, the resist is formed by binding bundles of threads with a tight wrapping applied in the desired pattern. The threads are then dyed. The bindings may then be altered and the thread bundles dyed again with another color to produce elaborate, multicolored patterns. When the dyeing is finished the bindings are removed and the threads are woven into cloth. In other resist-dyeing techniques such as tie-dye and batik, the resist is applied to one face of the woven cloth, whereas in ikat the threads are dyed before weaving, and both faces are essentially identical in appearance.
Ikat is most characteristic of Indonesia, though ikats have also been woven in India and central Asia. Double ikats are produced in a few places including the Okinawa islands of Japan, the village of Tenganan in Bali, and the villages of Puttapaka and Bhoodan Pochampally in India.
TYPES Of IKAT FABRICS:-
In warp ikat the patterns are clearly visible in the warp threads on the loom even before the plain colored weft is introduced to produce the fabric. Warp ikat is, amongst others, produced in Indonesia; more specifically in Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and Sumatra by respectively the Dayaks, Torajans and Bataks.
In weft ikat it is the weaving or weft thread that carries the dyed patterns which only appear as the weaving proceeds. In weft ikat the weaving proceeds much slower than in warp ikat as the passes of the weft must be carefully adjusted to maintain the clarity of the patterns.
Double Ikat is a technique in which both warp and the weft are resist-dyed prior to stringing on the loom. Double ikat is only produced in three countries: India, Japan and Indonesia. The double ikat of Japan is a type of kasuri. It is woven in the Okinawa islands where it is called tate-yoko-gasuri. In Indonesia it is only made in one small Bali Aga village, Tenganan in east Bali. The double ikat of India is predominantly woven in Gujarat and is called patola and it is also woven in Puttapaka,Nalgonda District, India and is called Puttapaka saree
As woven fabric rarely survives for more than a few centuries it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to determine where the technique of ikat originated. It probably developed in several different locations independently. Ikat was known to be produced in several pre-Columbian Central and South American cultures.
Uyghurs call it atlas (in IPA [ɛtlɛs]), and it is used only for woman's clothing. It is recorded that there were 27 types of etles during Qing occupation. Now there are only 4 types of Uyghur atlas remaining, namely Qara-atlas (Darayi, black color ones, used for older women clothing), Khoja'e-atlas (includes yellow, blue, purple colors; used for married women), Qizil-atlas (red color; used for girls) and Yarkant-atlas (Khan-atlas). Yarkant-atlas has more style; During Yarkant Khanate (16th century), it had ten different styles
Usage of Ikat fabric across the world in history
You may have heard or not heard of this fabric before, but just like the other fabrics present in the world the usage of this fabric too is important. Let’s start with a few pictures to know more about the beauty of this fabric
These types of fabrics are one of the oldest known textiles in the world. They are very diverse in cultures like Japan, Indonesia, Turkey and India. This fabric has existed for almost thousands of years and till date is still popular for its beauty. The word Ikat comes from a word in Malay which means to bind or wind around. For this fabric to look this amazing, thousands of threads are tie-dyed in intricate patterns, then untied and woven into fabric. This Ikat fabric’s beauty is seen all over. Take a good look and be amazed.