Ikat is term for dye technique used to create designs on fabric with the resist procedure of dyeing a bit similar to tie and dye. The bundles of threads are bound together in different patterns and then the yard is dyed. The combination may be altered and multiple dyeing cycles are carried on for multi colour patterns. The yarns are suitably dried out. After dyeing is finished, the threads are separated and all set for weaving. It is dissimilar to tie and dye is that combining and dyeing of thread occur before weaving while it occur after weaving in tie and dye technique.
While weaving as the yarn changed into ikat fabric material, the patterns are formed. This is extremely beautiful and complex procedure because weaver has to place the threads accurately to form right pattern. If a weaver has to replicate a design, they would dye just like they did before and weave in the similar fashion. There are three weaving methods- wrap ikat, weft and double ikat.
To create this category ikat fabrics pattern, dyeing of the weft threads is done in bright shades while on the wrap, ikat dyeing is done. The design become distinguishable as the yarn gashes the loom and when the weft thread interlinking firms the colour solidification which completes the design.
To get this kind of dyed ikat fabric by the yard, only the weft yard is dyed. It is more complex than wrap ikat as the design is formed with the weaving iterations. The weaver constantly has to adjust the yarn to the centre in order to form the right pattern.
This is the most complex of all three, here both weft and warp yards are resist dyed before weaving. Thus, it takes more time and the weaver requires extraordinary skills which are the reason that it is more expensive than other two. The saris like Puttapaka and Pochampally are made using this technique. These saris mainly have motifs.
Why ikat weaving is stylish?
Ikat print fabric style is used by the biggest designs and high street brands today. It has not fade away with time, it is even practised today in south asian countries, especially the double ikat are more popular in India, Guatemala, Japan and Indonesia. Endek is very unbeatable version of Ikat in Indonesia. It is made from scared bali fabric which is mercantile resist dye fabric.
Western civilization has also embraced ikats. It was traditionally used in textiles first in Europe through Dutch merchants in Southeast Asia, and then Spanish explored it South America. The Silk Road too historically helped in spreading ikat. It has been admired in France since 18th century and still is in trend. Ikats are huge among interiors and fashion designers are also using them as-it-is because of its touch which has taken them to the international market.
Ikat today are used for making shirts, one pieces, fashion accessories and exquisite ikat upholstery fabric are popular among interior designers.