Blend of Traditional & Contemporary - Ikkat

Blend of Traditional & Contemporary - Ikkat

If we genuinely talk about history, Ikkat is not India’s indigenous textile art. Ikkat is also known as Ikhat or Ikat. Historians of textiles are still attempting to get to the bottom of the place of origin of this art of textile, since it can be seen far and wide. There is an interesting fact about the word Ikat, which is that it has come from the Malay-Indonesian word Mengikat, which indicates to tie a bundle of yarn or threads.

If we talk about ikkat, it is nothing but a dyeing technique for fabrics, specifically sarees. In order to resist dye penetration, threads are coated with bindings or substances that are arranged in a predetermined pattern. The threads are dyed, the bindings or resists are removed after it has dried, and then the pattern appears on the exposed threads. The resist binding must be applied time after time until all the colors are applied one by one. When more than one color is being used in a pattern, then the resist binding must be used over and over. 

As a result, in three major regions in India - Andhra Pradesh/Telangana, Gujarat, and Odisha - it has become a well-known handloom textile art. As these three regions evolved, their ikkat weaving styles developed - each with its own styles of pattern, dyeing, and use of yarn. The fine quality of ikat originated in India and was so popular that it became the currency of the Silk Route at some point in history, which helped spread ikat among the Afghan region and Uzbekistan.


Techniques For Ikkat Weaving

  • It is known that ikat patterns are created through the resist dyeing method, and unlike the other two popular Indian resist-dyeing methods, bandhani and batik, the design is formed in the yarn rather than on the fabric.
  • In order to form a pattern, yarn - in bundles or individual strands - is tightly wrapped. Once the yarns have been dyed, they are stitched together. To weave the fabric they have drawn, the weavers dye it several times in different colors to achieve the design they drew.
  • The weaver then weaves the fabric with the yarn, creating designs with a blurred appearance. It is not the sharpness of the design, as might be seen in block-printed or embroidered fabrics, but the repetitive blurring of the pattern that gives ikat its finesse.
  • Weavers' skill in laying out the pattern and the yarn thickness affect the blurriness in the design.
  • An intricate design makes the fabric more valuable. The blurriness of the designs is also valued by some textile experts and designers, especially when the ikat is done in pure cotton. As a result, you are getting the genuine article - not some printed ikat. Silk ikat tends to be more sharply detailed. While Telia Rumal has sharper ikat patterns, Patolas of Patan features sharper, more colorful ikat patterns, making them highly valuable and rare.


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