Today we would like to talk about Ikat, a yarn dyeing technique, which allows us to obtain beautiful designs with blurred contours.

Originally born in Malaysia and Indonesia, it then developed independently in many different cultures and continents, such as Peru and Guatemala, Japan, Yemen, India and Uzbekistan.

The term ikat is Indonesian (“mengikat“) and means to tie, because some parts of the yarns are protected by a tight binding so as not to be dyed, while the unbound parts are colored. In this way a partially colored yarn is obtained, which once woven reveals a lively decorative design.

However, with the word ikat we do not only mean the technique, but also the fabrics themselves made by hand, colored with the same technique. Some ikat are made by dyeing the warp threads (the fixed threads that are attached to the loom), some dyeing the weft threads (the threads that are actually woven into and out of the warp threads). In some ikat both the warp and the weft are dyed, a technique known as double ikat.

The procedure is very long, as well as very complex, so much so that it requires considerable skill, and precisely for this reason within the cultures that produced them, ikats were typically status symbols. Even in Indonesia up until less than a century ago it was the exclusive privilege of noble families to package and wear ikat clothes and those who violated the rule could also be punished with death.

India and Indonesia have their ancient ikat fabric manufacturing traditions, however, it is the ikat fabrics of Uzbekistan that have become a recent success in the fashion and interior design industries for their large and bold designs and for mixing unimaginable ikat colors which initially you would think would not work well together. Today ikat is the national fabric of Uzbekistan, where it is produced mainly in the southern region, in the cities of Bukhara, Samarkand, Tashkent, Khiva and the city of Kokand in the Ferghana valley.

Known are the ikat in silkthe ikat in cotton and silk, the ikat in silk velvet, the ikat in cotton and the ikat in cotton and linen.

As far as furnishings are concerned, ikat is the ideal decoration for light and neutral environments: a white, gray or beige interior, in fact, will make its bright colors stand out even more, giving a cheerful and lively touch to the room. Instead if the ikat is made with pastel shades, this decoration will infuse the room delicately. In the refined black and white version it will give originality and elegance to the more sober and modern interiors. The important thing is to avoid the total look, which would be decidedly excessive and focus on accessories, such as pillows.

In our online store you can find magnificent cushions made with ikat fabrics from Uzbekistan, both in delicate pastel colors, from decidedly vitamin or black and white nuances … just click below.

(Images via pinterest.com, decorpad.cometno-chic.com – Some of the images in this blog are taken from the web and used quoting  the source. If there were any photos subject to copyright, please contact us and they will be removed. The images owned by etno-chic.com can only be used by quoting the source and relinking to the blog)


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