Ikat- Warp and Weft Resist Dyeing

Ikat is a very popular fabric art form these days- seen on almost everything from apparel to home furnishings. This is an ancient art form that appears in traditional textiles from countries as wide spread as Argentina, Guatemala, Spain, Japan, India and Thailand. The word “Ikat” is derived from the Malay word ‘Mengikat’ which means ‘to tie’ or ‘to bind’- an apt name for this weaving technique that relies heavily on resist dyeing.

In Ikat the warp or weft or both are dyed with great precision so that the weaving produces the desired pattern on the finished fabric. In weaving the “warp” is the set of lengthwise yarns that are held in tension on the frame or loom. The “weft” is the yarn that is drawn through the warp yarns to create the cloth. The weaver or designer first draws out the design on a graph paper and the final design is transferred onto the warp and weft threads. Before the dyeing process starts the warp and weft threads are tied with impermeable yarn, rubber bands or strips of bicycle tubes. Once dyed in a particular color, the threads can be retied and dyed again in multiple colors. When the dyeing is complete the threads are put on the loom and the natural movement of the weaving gives the Ikat designs their characteristic feathered edge.

In India, Ikat is known by different names in different regions– the Double Ikat from Gujarat is called ‘patola’ while the popular and more affordable Ikat from Orissa is called ‘bandha’ and uses motifs of animals and birds.

Here are some of the Ikat pieces from our Spring/ Summer 2012 collection.


Blue and white–classic warm weather colors to keep you feeling cool. Handwoven stripe in soft ikat with fringe features a geometric hand embroidered design. 100% cotton. Made by Pushpanjali. 


Handwoven ikat top provides an alternative to a t-shirt. Shape is elemental and universally flattering with scoop neck, side slits and turn-back cap sleeves. Hip length. 100% cotton. Made by WARE


Sometimes simple things are the best. This softly architectural top has a half placket, stand collar and side slits. Designed to layer over a cami. Try our Deepa cami! Graphic natural and black ikat is striking and versatile. 100% cotton. Made by Nirmaan. 


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