Ikat is a traditional weaving technique which can trace its roots back to prehistory. With ikat, the threads are dyed before the weaving, only revealing the design if the loom is set up correctly. In most parts of the world, only the warp or the weft is dyed to create a single ikat. However, India is one of three countries in which both the warp and weft are dyed to create incredibly intricate double ikat. It can take a lifetime to master the craft of double ikat.
First, the threads are wound in bunches on a loom frame. Then the design is tied off with thread. Once the design is tied on, the fabric is dyed. The more colors in each design, the more times the fabric will be tied and dyed. If the ikat is a warp weave, then the dyed threads would be wound onto the loom. You can see the design as it is to be woven on the loom. If the design is a weft weave, then a plain color thread would be on the loom, and the design would appear as it is woven. If it is a double ikat, then both the weft and warp threads are dyed and the complete design comes together as it is woven. No matter the style of ikat weave, it can take from a few days to a few years to create one piece, depending on the complexity of the design.
In the shop we carry a variety of ikat weave items from tea towels to scarves to vintage sari skirts. All of our ikat treasures are hand made by artisans across India, from the villages of Odisha to the artists of MESH. And, throughout all of April, all our ikat items are 10% off!