IKAT is a technique that creates a very special pattern by choosing individual sections of the thread as the loom is being set up. The end result is unique to this technique and a gorgeous visual addition to our new Blue Fish Bee Blossom collection.
If you think about how a pattern is created, you might picture a printing scenario where designs are stamped onto a piece of fabric using dyes or paints. That’s how block-printed cotton fabrics are made. With ikat the threads are dyed before they are woven into textiles, which takes a whole lot of skill!
The word ‘ikat’ (pronounced ‘ee-KAHT’) comes from the Malaysian word ‘mengikat,’ or ‘to tie,’ because the loose threads are tied into bundles using wax-treated cotton to pinpoint where the dye is able to color the thread – a refined type of tie-dye. What this means is that the weaver has to figure out where on the loose threads the dye should and shouldn’t go, in order for it to form the desired pattern on the loom. Because of the time and skill involved in weaving ikat, some cultures believe the cloth is imbued with magical powers. Bonus!