Know How She Does It

Ikat, you-kat, we all-kat for Ikat

Backsplash from New Ravenna Mosaics; Swatches from Jo-Ann; toss pillow from the Etsy store Pop O’Color

No, it is not chocolate! This marvelous and popular fabric is gaining a lot of fame in the interior decoration world. Now a days it is very common to find this textile in toss pillows, upholstery chairs, and even in the runways. But what exactly is Ikat and were can you buy it?

i·kat /ˈēkät/ Noun: Fabric made using an Indonesian decorative technique in which warp or weft threads, or both, are tie-dyed before weaving.

In other words, before each thread is interlace, they are stained. This way the final result is a feather like texture in the fabric. Here you can see beautiful pictures of the process.

Doing some research on this fabric, I contacted Karen Edenfield, Inspiration Specialist at Jo-Ann and here is what she has to say about this popular textile “Basically, Ikat is dying the warp threads (the threads that go from front to back to front in the loom and are the lengthwise grain in fabric) before they are put on the loom. Typically silk was the fiber used which can account for the vibrant colors used in Ikat because silk picks up colors so well. The warp threads would all be cut to the length needed to dress the loom (process of threading hundreds or thousands of equal length threads through the loom) then wrapped, tied or knotted so that some portions of the threads are covered so they resist dye. After the first dying, the thread may be unbound then bound again in other areas and dyed again in another color. Multiple colors can be added in the same way”. This complex process of dying the threads after all, is worth the work. With a huge diversity of colors and patterns, Ikat can add a spectacular accent to any space.

1. Crate and Barrel toss pillow 2. One Kings Lane toss pillow 3. Fabric swatch from Jo-Ann 4. Rug from Pinterest 5. Ikat chair from Pinterest

Karen continues explaining that “Once the warp threads are dyed, the loom is dressed and the weaving process takes place. A variation on the process is to dress the loom then apply dye to the threads in particular designs. This method gives a much more controlled design”.

Here you can see a variety of patterns apply to different objects. Besides this, you can also find Ikat in wall paper, mosaic backsplash, shoes, and even curtains. Dare to try something new with this fabric. Jo-Ann have a beautiful variety and designs available online or at their stores.

1. Anthropologie chair 2-3. Fabric swatches from Jo-Ann 4. Small Bowls from Anthropologie

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