Craft Story

Making of Ikat Fabric

Ikat - Meaning and Method

“The term ikat stems from the malay-Indonesian expression ‘mangikat’, meaning to bind, knot or wind around. In principle, ikat or resisit dyeing, involves the sequence of tying (or wrapping) and dyeing sections of bundled yarn to a predetermined colour scheme prior to weaving. Thus, the dye penetrates into the exposed sections, while the tied sections remain undyed. The patterns formed by this process on the yarn are then woven into fabric. The three basic forms being single ikat, where either warp or weft threads are tied and dyed prior to weaving: combined ikat where warp and weft ikat may coexist in different parts of a fabric occasionally overlapping and double ikat which is by far the most complex form. Here both warp and weft threads are tied and dyed with such precision, that when they are woven, threads from both axis mesh exactly at certain points to form a complete motif or pattern.” 

-Ikat textiles of India- Chelna Desai

Sambalpuri Ikat

We work with the bhulia weavers western Odisha who are known for weaving beautiful sambalpuri saris. The smooth curves of the sambalpuri motifs speak of the unparalleled skill of the weavers of this region. The whole of western Odisha was undivided and called Sambalpur in earlier times and ikat being a very well-known textile of the region got its name from the region itself. The weavers, however call it bandho meaning ‘to tie’.

Other than Odisha, ikats are also made in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat in India. Outside India, Ikats are also found in Indonesia, Japan, Uzbekistan, Guatemala and Peru.

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