Ikat (pronounced ‘ee-KAHT’) is a very old dyeing technique used to create beautiful patterns in fabrics. The ikat weaving style is common to many cultures from South America to India. The process is rather like a reverse tie-dye. In tie-dye, the fabric is first woven, then bound, and then dyed. When the bindings are removed, the tie-dye pattern is clear. The process of ikat varies in that the material (silk, cotton, etc.) is first treated with wax or tied in some way to prevent all of the dye from being absorbed. After dying, the material is woven into fabric. The pattern and complexity of ikat varies widely, which makes it an ideal choice for home design.
This colorful ikat rug from Madeline Weinrib demonstrates why the classic look of ikat has endured for centuries.
Ikat also makes a stunning fabric for furnishings. This ikat chair adds exactly the right blend of color and pattern to accent a client’s India-inspired decor.
One of the wonderful things about ikat is that it has more than just the usual fabric applications. Window treatments, pillows,wall art, and even lamp shades can showcase this timeless method of producing gorgeous textiles.