I was lucky enough to see some ikat weavers in action two summers ago at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington DC. The picture below shows the resist dyed threads (not sure if these are warps or wefts, I'd guess warps?). I find it staggering to try to imagine how to create a particular pattern this way...
...let alone the skills it must take to get the design to actually line up properly while weaving:
I have no idea how she kept track of all those bobbins.
In my search this weekend I actually found quite a lot of fantastic ikat fabric. I'm sharing it with you so that I can hopefully inspire more of you to make something of ikat fabric, because I'm dying to see all of these in action.
From Batik Tambal, 100% cotton, made in India.
Mmm...madras ikat, from The Cotton Club.
Silk Shoi fabric from Uzbekistan, Uzbek Applied Arts
Cotton ikat, Uzbek Applied Arts (remarkably good price for 10 feet of fabric!)
More Silk Shoi fabric from Uzbekistan, Uzbek Applied Arts