You say ee-khat, I say eye-cat. Huh?
What is it, why is it so popular and why do I need it in my home?
When fabric shopping you may have heard this term thrown around… a lot! Maybe you have no idea what it is. Maybe you do but still don’t know what the big deal is.
So, what is Ikat? For those that get excited about fabric and/or history this may seem a bit light in the loafers. For those that want the basics, here we go. Ikat is a dying technique and possibly one of the oldest at that. The process of making Ikat fabric is very labour intensive. Individual threads are lined up and a pattern of motifs are hand drawn. Certain sections of the pattern then get tied off so it will be resistant to the dye. The exposed threads are then dyed and the ties get removed revealing the Ikat pattern. The individual threads are then woven together creating the fabric. (I just made this sound super easy like some sort of Sunday afternoon craft, however if you watch the video below you will be amazed). Some Ikat fabrics sold today are done by using this original method but some are done by using the Ikat motif and simulating the effect by machine embroidery or directly printing on cotton or linen.
Why is it so popular? Simply because it’s different. It’s not a floral, it’s not a stripe and it’s not a geometric however it kind of works like all the above patterns. It’s loose and flowy like a floral, it runs in a vertical line like a stripe and it repeats shape like a geometric but IT IS DIFFERENT! Ikats are also available in every colour combination making it flexible to work with in any space. Another Ikat pro is you don’t need to use a lot to get an impact.
Why do I need it in my home? Because it’s fun, fresh and not just a fad. Some people may think Ikat only belongs in a Navajo inspired space. Not true. Ikat can work well in any design from classic to modern. Check out these different spaces and I bet you’ll love Ikat in an instance!
If you are looking to add a touch of Ikat to your next decorating project, be sure to check out our selection at C&M Textiles! We offer many variations, colours and sizes of this beloved pattern.
In case you care to learn how Ikat is made, here is a cool video brought to you by Kravet Inc
Written by: Alicia Hewitt