Thursday, April 19, 2012

Newsflash: Ikat is not a famous designer

Well, that may not be a newsflash to some of your more design-savvy readers, but it was to me. I've been drawn to this particular style of fabric design for a few months and was going to give it a try on my own (with the computer of course). This week my sister enlightened me that it was indeed NOT a famous design house in the Netherlands (I swear, this is what I had decided in my mind) but a TECHNIQUE of weaving. Thank goodness I didn't say THAT in public around all my fancy designer friends! Wait, I just did just admit that in public. Well, may my ignorance be your knowledge to gain now.

Basically, the ikat technique is ancient and refers to a resist dye process (kind of like tie-dying) where you bind part of the thread so that the dye does not soak into the thread. After the threads are colored with dye, then they are woven into the fabric or tapestry. The definitions I'm reading keep using the word "waft" but I have really no idea what that is. I maintain the right to keep some blissful ignorance on the subject, especially since I'm not going to dye my own threads. Or learn to weave. Yet.

I like the ikat look because it takes my favorite design style (repeat patterns) and makes them softer and less hard edged. Sometimes that's a nice touch. So, packed with a dangerously little amount of knowledge, I'm going to see what kind of ikat designs I can come up with this afternoon.

Here are some of the ikat inspirational images I found today, with more on my Pinterest pattern board.


  1. Cool post! I actually did learn to weave in college and did a small scale ikat weaving...dyed my own yarn and everything! Because of this, I can tell you, the word you are looking for is weft;) Annette

  2. LOL! Well, how much more impressive can I be? Weft/waft/whatevah...

    Thanks for the correction. xo

  3. Love this post. You totally crack me up. I love the samples you shared too!


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