Monday, March 30, 2009

Ikat love

My good friend Sara emailed me this weekend to ask if I knew of any good sources for ikat fabric. Ikat seems to have gained a bit of a following lately. For those of you who aren't familiar, ikat is a type of resist-dyed weaving that originated in Indonesia. The warps and/or wefts are resist dyed with one or more colors prior to warping and weaving. It is quite an advanced weaving technique that can result in the most beautiful fabric.

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


Linda said...

What amazing weaving.

LittleCanoe said...

So beautiful!

erica said...


GNurik said...

I followed the above linkes but they already have been removed from eBay. But, to my fortune, I was able to find anothr sourc for Ikat Fabrics at
Thank you all.