The traditional process that hand looms go through produces breathtaking results that arouse interest in art and add value to the fabric in question through sheer effort and complexity. One of the most popular and popular arts and crafts since ancient times adorning Indian ethnic textiles with unique and first-class results is perhaps the ikat process.
The tie and dye technique which is known as Ikkat had it’s origins in different parts of the world such as South East Asia, Central Asia, South America and West Africa. When it comes to dyeing fabrics Ikat is one of the most ancient techniques. Ikkat is derived from Malay word mengikat which means to tie or to bind. Ikat in Indonesian language means bind. Ikkat is a dyeing technique used to pattern textiles that employs resist dyeing on the yarns prior to dyeing and weaving the fabric. This dyeing technique used to create a distinct style of textile patterns. Ikat is known to have existed in India since the 6th Century one of the oldest known patterned textiles in the world, with a history that spans across multiple cultures .Both tie-dye and batik are examples of textile dyeing techniques that take place after the fabric has been woven. Before the yarn is woven into cloth Ikat dyeing, takes place , which results in a very different appearance. Little blurriness, multiple colours and complicated patterned Ikat are more difficult to create and therefore often more expensive.
Ikat and other dyed fabrics are used extensively in day to day life. The dyeing technique used is unique to get the desired texture before the process of weaving takes place. To give the buyers nothing but the best in terms of quality this is a process that is a rigorous and laborious in nature. There are types of Ikat one is known as Patan Patola, is one of the rarest forms of double Ikat, which takes a lot of time and effort in dyeing and weaving a different form of Patola ikat is made. In Rajkot, Gujarat. Other Indian Ikats areTelia Rumal made in Andhra, Pasapalli from Odisha and Puttapaka from Telangana are other Indian Ikats. It’s because of the experience and the developing techniques of the master weavers here. Each region has evolved its own style of dyeing and weaving of the yarns which is special thing about ikat weaving in India. Ikat is a near universal weaving style common to many world cultures. Ikat is one of the oldest forms of textile decoration. India, Japan and many South-East Asian nations have weaving cultures with long histories of Ikat production.
Ikat fabric is a dyeing technique used to create a specific style of fabric pattern. Ikat is made by dyeing part of the yarn before weaving the fabric. In ikat, resist is formed by binding single strands or bundles of strands to a rigid wrap applied in the desired pattern. Then the thread is dyed. You can then change the knitting to create a new pattern and re-dye the yarn in a different colour. You can repeat this process multiple times to create complex multi coloured patterns. When dyeing is complete, remove all dressing and weave the thread into the fabric. In other dyeing techniques, such as Tie and dye and batik, the resist is applied to the fabric, whereas in ikat the resist is applied to the yarn before weaving into the fabric. Because the surface pattern is made from yarn and not finished fabric, there are ikat patterns on both sides of the fabric. A characteristic feature of ikat fabrics is the apparent “blurring” of the pattern. The blur is the result of the weavers having extreme difficulty arranging the dyed threads so that the design appears perfectly on the finished fabric. Bleeding can be reduced with fine thread or a craftsman’s touch. Common ikat materials include silk and wool, but rayon, polyester and various other synthetic fibres can be dyed in the same way. After the fabric yarn is obtained, it is tied into thick bundles and dyed according to a specific pattern. Then remove the knitting and lay the thread flat to weave.
Warp and weft are divided into bundles or sets.
- Threads are bundled with waterproofing material, sheet strips, rubber or plastic depending on the pre-prepared design plate.
- The elastic band used for tying is a modern innovation that replaces the traditional tying method with coarse cotton yarn.
- Bundles are dyed according to the pattern. (Multiple steps of knitting and dyeing are required depending on the design.)
- Ikat or resistance yarn dyeing involves the sequence of tying (wrapping) and dyeing parts of a knitted fabric into a predetermined colour scheme or pattern before weaving.
Ikat colours and motifs
Ikat from Odisha (Orissa) is distinctive with its use of fine count silk and/or cotton yarn, dyed in striking shades of blue, red, yellow and magenta. Motifs and colours in Gujarati ikat are similar to that of Odisha (Orissa), generally featuring flowers, stars and zoomorphics in shades of red, yellow and green. Motifs and colours in Gujarati ikat are similar to that of Odisha (Orissa), generally featuring flowers, stars and zomorphics in shades of red, yellow and green. These are found in the surviving traditional double ikat known as Patan Patola and the modern day alternative single ikat of Rajkot Patola. Thus, ikat from the state features traditional as well as innovative motifs, ranging from floral and zoormorphic patterns to geometric shapes, occasionally even including abstract designs of objects such as aeroplanes. The colours reflect the local heritage, are bright and contrasting, and are influenced by the local heritage and way of life. The Ikat pattern is a combination of dyed warp and weft yarns. Ikat patterns are designed symmetrically along a vertical axis or as a mirror image moving along a centre line. The result is that the pattern or design of the ikat is exactly the same on both sides of the fabric.
Pillowcases, sheets and other bedding often have an ikat pattern. Traditionally, ikat was often used for wall panels, and the ikat pattern is still widely used on walls worldwide. Fashion trends come and go, but ikat fabrics have always stood the test of time. Many designers and large street brands replicate the look of the ikat with prints or jacquard fabrics. The original ikat can be easily distinguished from the faux printed ikat by looking closely or simply flipping the fabric over! Ikat fabrics are used in categories ranging from blouses to stretch pants, and Ikat dyes are used throughout the fashion industry. Ikat is more common for womenswear than menswear. Scarves, shawls and headscarves are all common uses of ikat in accessories. In India, sources of ikat patterns dating back to the 7th century are available. It is used to create amazing materials, saris, ethnic and fusion costumes. Ikat kurtas are as popular in India as ikat saris and have over 910 ikat techniques and many patterns to use in this amazing art. The Mexican rebozos can be made from silk, wool or cotton and are frequently ikat dyed.