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Trendspotting: Ikat Inspired Textiles
by Giorgi Bros. | Nov 14, 2012
Ikat Length, Central Asia Mid-19th Century (Victoria & Albert Museum)

 Ikat inspired textiles have been a major trend recently in the furniture industry.  Ikat fabrics were all over the 2012 Fall High Point Market, including these gorgeous chairs from Pearson Furniture.  


While certainly trendy in the fashion and furniture worlds, the ikat process has actually been around for centuries, and has been in use almost universally throughout Asia, Europe and South America.
Ikat textile from Central Asia, 19th Century (Victoria & Albert Museum Collection)

The term "ikat" comes from the Indonesian word mengikat which means, "to tie."  The process, similar to tie-dye, uses bindings which resist dye penetration and are applied to the thread before dyeing.  After applying the  dyed design to the bound threads, the bindings are removed and the thread is then woven into cloth.  The main difference between tie-dye and ikat is that in ikat, the fibers are dyed and then woven into fabric and in tie-dye, the fabric is already woven and dye is applied afterwards.

Partially dyed warp threads being bound for second dyeing - Photo by Tim Stanley

Threads in the process of dyeing, Mallorca

 There are several variations on the ikat process, including a method called Double Ikat where both warp and weft are resist-dyed before weaving them together on a loom.  This method is primarily used in Indonesia, Japan and India.

Warp & Weft Ikat Weaving, Vintage Japanese Kimono

Ikat Weaving in Indonesia, photo by Wayne Walton

Traditionally, ikat textiles have been a symbol of wealth, power, and prestige.  In some cultures, the cloth is thought to be imbued with spiritual or magical properties.   Because of the complex and labor-intensive process required to make the textiles, ikat clothing has traditionally been used for special occasions like weddings or funerals.

Women's Robe from Bukara, Uzbekistan  Mid-19th Century

Ikat patterns in textiles from Guatemala

Watch a time lapse video of an American artist creating an Ikat Textile

The Sibilla Sofa by Drexel Heritage from the 2012 Fall High Point Market

435 Settee by Burton James

Ikat inspired pillow by Surya
Wikipedia - Ikat
Google Images - Ikat

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211 Baden Avenue
South San Francisco
California 94080
306 Baden Avenue
South San Francisco
California 94080
Tel: (650) 588 4621
Mon, Wed, Fri and Sat: 9AM - 6PM
Tuesday and Thursday: 9AM - 8PM
Sunday: 11AM - 5PM
Saturday Dec 24th: 9AM - 3PM
Closed Dec 25th and Jan 1st
Tel: (650) 588 4621 • Fax: (650) 588 6130

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