A Brief Overview of Ikat fabric: A Gift from Asia

Posted by aimewolf on June 26th, 2014

Ikat design patterns became extremely popular during the early 19th century in Central Asia. In various parts of Asia, the use of resist dying technique started during this period and every ethnic group started to use their traditional dying methods that are much popular even now, after so many years of the Ikat fabric emerged as a distinguished fabric form. Ikat is an umbrella term and this type of resist dyed fabric is called by many different names in different parts of central Asia. Many historians claim that Ikat has its roots in Indonesia, which is still much debated. However, historians agree on the fact that the Silk Route took a pivotal role in taking the design pattern from Asia to Europe and parts of Russia, where the design pattern was warmly received by collectors and designers. These textile patterns including Suzani embroidery became notably popular in oasis cities of central Asia.

How Ikat fabric is made

Ikat, unlike many other textile patterns, were usually crafted by men during early 19th century. Craftsmen with different specializations used to participate in the Ikat manufacturing process. However, women used to take part in the early phases of the manufacturing process. They used to nurture silkworms and used mulberry leaves for feeding the silkworms. The best-grade cocoons were not used in making the Ikat textile, as these were reserved for making silk clothing. Male workers used to boil the second-grade cocoons and tease apart the threads with sharp implements and then making the reel of fabric directly from the pot. Wooden frames were in used for dying the fiber.

About Ikat apparels

Through Ikat is mostly used in making decorative items now, Ikat clothing items also became exceedingly popular in oasis customers of Central Asia. Ikat was a status symbol for aristocrats of central Asia and it was valued more than pure cotton made garments. Men of all ages used to wear Ikat robes during nineteenth century. Bukhara robes were the most precious and the robes made in other oasis cities used to come with narrower sleeves.

Why are Ikat textiles still so popular?

The high saturation and vividness of colors, along with clarity in design, are some of the reasons why Ikat fabric is still so popular across the world. The intertwined motifs and the miniature artworks are another reason why Ikat has been popular through decades and centuries. However, bold colors and design patterns are the aesthetic strength of these textiles. Ikat designs are unique and every designer mixes his or her own innovation in making the fabric. This makes every Ikat decorative item or Suzani embroidery very different from the rest. Contemporary Ikat designs are much different from the ones that were woven in the antiquity.

How to shop Ikat textiles online?

The online retail world is a perfect place for shopping traditional Ikat designs and decorative items featuring miniature arts created by Ikat artists. You just need to choose a good search site, browse the Ikat fabric items such as pillows etc and compare the prices before your buy.

Are you searching for Ikat fabric? UZ Handicrafts now offers Suzani embroidery and many other inspired handicrafts.

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