Beauty of Ikat


Are you familiar with ikat textiles made from threads that are dyed section by section?  No doubt you have seen the fabric used in decorative items and clothing, but have you ever thought about how the designs are created?

When done by hand, the threads are stretched on a frame and the pattern is marked off. Each section of the design is then bound off and dyed separately until all areas of the thread are covered.

Ikat textiles are popular these days, but they are not new.

Historically, they have been symbols of status and wealth much like tapestries were in earlier times.

They were offered to rulers, loyal friends and people of importance as part of a centuries old tradition of gift giving.

Some of the gifts were used to establish and cement political alliances.

Today, in some countries, ikat garments are part of the culture.

As a weaver, I am fascinated by the artistry of the fabric,

often woven with silk threads as fine as a strand of hair.  Knowing that I will never be able to duplicate such beautiful creations only enhances my appreciation.

Strand of Silk - Journey Map - Ikat - Producer Communities - padmashali

How grateful I am that the tradition of making ikat textiles by hand is being maintained in places like India, Southeast Asia, Japan and Latin America.  I was very happy to be able to photo these wonderful examples of ikat creations at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. 

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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18 thoughts on “Beauty of Ikat

  1. How fascinating Linda, I had no idea! I can’t imagine the intense labor it took to create those beautiful fabrics~

  2. Stunning!

  3. entertainingwomen May 21, 2017 — 6:02 pm

    Fascinating. Thanks for a peek into the world of ikay. Cherry Kay

  4. How very interesting!!

    1. Hey, I want to see the new haircut.

  5. Linda, I appreciate the skill of these artists and the beauty of Ikat!

  6. paularosemaine May 22, 2017 — 9:02 am

    YES! I saw this gorgeous exhibit when we were in Houston earlier this month. I posted your blog post to my Facebook page. Thanks for a beautiful write-up–much more informative than the photos I had planned to post!

  7. Oh how exquisite! I always learn so much about textiles from you!!! I bet they were so magnificent in person! Thanks for sharing!!!!

  8. Wow these are gorgeous and so bright and colorful!

  9. Amazing artistry. Such beautiful textiles around the world and amazing history. We take so much for granted.
    I admire your talent and knowledge of this art.

    1. As you might guess, textiles are my weakness.

  10. Hi Lulu, I’ve never heard of Ikat textiles, but I really like the photographs and think the fabric would look fabulous in one of those long, A-line skirts that I’m always wearing!

    1. Indeed ikat would work perfectly.

  11. Marcia F.Gardner June 6, 2017 — 5:02 pm

    I absolutely love ikat. I adore.ALL TEXTILES in fact. Especially older ones in foreign lands. Thanks for sharing your photos! MFG

    1. If it’s still at the MFA, go see the exhibit. It’s wonderful.

  12. ikats are so timeless. they have a feeling of speed and movement

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