Ikat, poetry of the loom

The technique of dyeing yarn – and its resulting pattern – has been around for hundreds of years.  But in the last few years, there has been a real resurgence of Ikat patterns.

ikat fabric

India can be termed as the homeland of myriad fabrics and textiles designed in luminous hues and patterns. One of the many textiles of the traditional handloom in India is Ikat - a handwoven fabric whose charm and versatility allows year-round comfort. However, there's more to it than meets the eye!

Ikat comes from the Malaysian word ‘mengikat’ meaning “to tie, bind, or wrap around” and involves using a resist dyeing process, similar to tie-dye where either the weft (left to right) or warp (up and down) yarns are dyed before they are woven on the loom. In double Ikat, both warp and weft yarns are resist dyed prior to weaving whereas, compound ikat combines warp- and weft-ikat methods in a way that forms independent, complementary patterns all in the same fabric.

ikat fabrics

The resulting patterns have a “cloudy” or “blurred” appearance that comes from the slight bleeding of the dyes into other areas.

As per history, it originated in Indonesia and trickled down to other parts of the globe areas including India, Japan, Mexico and Argentina; where every region’s Ikat has its own distinct set of characteristics, cultural motifs and symbols even though Ikat was almost always associated with status and wealth due to its complicated and difficult technique.

In India, have Ikat in Gujarat as Patan Patola which is one of the rarest forms of double Ikat, Pochampally in South India’s Telangana and Sambalpuri Ikat in Orissa.

Today we refer to Ikat in general to describe not only the actual technique but also any pattern that resembles the Ikat woven technique.

Due to the care and attention to detail required by the process, each ikat print is truly one of a kind, as we know now, that it is a fusion of contrasting yet complementary colours in geometric shapes and patterns. The result of which are fun, trendy ikat materials that we convert into a wide variety of fashionable ikat bags.

ikat bag

Ikat fabric has always been popular and in high demand for its distinct style and unmatched beauty. This textile craft has stood the test of time and various fashion trends hence now, we at Hamelin use it to adorn our handcrafted bags. Do check them out for your next festive look or casual outing.



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