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Indian Fashion Blog / Stylish Thoughts / Techniques India Ikat Print

11 th Apr 2012

Ikat has had a famed and fashionable background in the past decade with many designers both Indian and International incorporating it into their repertoire. Its a print we see every day on textiles to be worn or destined to interior design objects of gaze.

Finding a tie to its origins

Ikat the name takes it origin from the Indonesian language denoting, "to tie/bind" and hence the fabric which includes threads that are tied, dipped and woven into a pattern is called Ikat. The word Ikat now takes equal generic ownership as the name of the process and the finished garment wherever and however it has come into being through the weaver's imagination.

Here is a woven fabric of such high-quality whose source is not very well chronicled as it has survived for more than a few centuries and is believed to have started in parallel in various locations. It has such preceding ties that it was an element of Pre-Columbian Central and South American cultures.

A tribe called Uyghurs from Eastern and Central Asia (essentially part of the people's republic of China) refer to the Ikat as Atlas (Etles) and mostly women adorned themselves in this fabric, though it remains a mystery when it became a part the culture. The record states the presence of 27 types of etles during the era of the last dynasty of China, i.e. the Qing Dynasty.

Being a universal style the Ikat is a common fixture in many cultures and is one of the most ancient decorations on textiles. Some of the places it is seen in would include Argentina, Bolivia, Equador, Mexico, Bukhara, Samarkhand, Cambodia, India, Japan, Philippines, Thailand, etc.

In India it takes shape in Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Gujarat and is one of the most sought after fabrics. Although taking the basics from a one of its kind technique they vary in terms of appearance, material and appeal. In Gujarat it took root in Patan and hence the term "Patan Patola" is given to this gorgeous piece of fabric. Andhra Pradesh had Koyalagudum as its base for the Ikat. And Orissa had migrates from Patan start the culture of this fascinating fabric.

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