April 12, 2019

Ikat: Traditional Hand Looming

Many people may not have known about the existence of ikat fabrics, but they are an important cloth. The art of ikat is an ancient technique used to dye fabric. The yarns are bound together in a specific way, resulting in the formation of diverse patterns. Using this technique, beautiful and intricate patterns can be created.

The complicated patterns and mixing of colors leads to these fabrics being a bit expensive, but the end result is worth it. If you are looking for ikat fabrics, there are several types. Knowing the difference can help you make a decision about the fabric you choose.

Warp Ikat – Warp yarns are longitudinal or lengthwise and dyed with Ikat techniques, and the pattern is visible before weaving the fabric.

Weft Ikat – Weft ikat patters only appear when the yarns used have been woven together. Weft ikat takes longer to produce because it needs to be adjusted before weaving to ensure the overall clarity of the fabric’s design.

Double Ikat – With double ikat fabrics, the makers need to have very advanced skills. Double ikat is formed using both warp and weft patterns that have been woven together to overlap, producing a design.

ikat fabrics

Making Ikat Fabrics

Ikat is usually made from silk or cotton as their core fabrics. Several threads of warp or weft are bundled and bound together. They are then tied to a frame of wood and put into a dye bath. The dyes used are typically made from flowers, plants, and bark from trees.

The yarns are dyed several times in order to achieve the patterns you see on the final product. After every dyeing treatment has been done the weaving starts. Weaving dyed yarns together transform them.

Now that you know a bit more about ikat fabrics, you can shop with confident and understand the process that goes into creating the beautiful and intricate patterns on the cloth.