Ikat is a weaving style that employs resist dyeing technique to impart colors to the yarns/warps and wefts before interlacing them. The fabric woven through this technique shows a feathered and hazy pattern which is a wonderful classic in its own way. This is universal style of producing fabric patterns and exists in various countries and their culture for years.
When only warps are resist dyed, the Ikat is called Warp Ikat, and when only wefts are resist dyed, the Ikat is called Weft Ikat. When both warps and wefts are resist dyed to create woven patterns, the Ikat is called Double Ikat.
Ikat is known to be admired in countries like South and Central America, Argentina, Bolivia, Guatemala, Mexico, Central Asia, Spain, India, japan, Cambodia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia. Bali, Java, Kalimantan and Sumatra are particularly famous for Double Ikat techniques.
Motifs are usually not very complicated. Geometric patterns like zigzag, lozenges, etc. and floral patterns, are mostly employed, which also have ethnic or symbolic meanings behind their use. For years, Ikats have been known to stand for status, prosperity, power and esteem. Old cultures even think of it as fabric with magical powers.
Ikat designs are very commonly seen on traditional fabrics which are mainly used in traditional costumes. Today, even home fashion is not left behind. These days, entire bedding sets and even modern day dresses are designed using this technique on fabrics. Here are a few pictures to show some recent uses of Ikat.