The patterning of an ikat is the result of resist dyeing the threads before weaving. If the final pattern has more than one colour, the threads will need to be retied for each colour. Once weaving begins, the weaver will make small adjustments with each throw of the shuttle to keep the pattern in alignment.
Ikat is a complicated process demanding much patience, considerable design skill, and a good geometric imagination.
Ikats may be either warp ikat (the longer threads), weft ikat (the threads perpendicular to the warp), or double ikat (warp and weft). Ikat patterning ranges from simple star patterns to full figurative imagery done in many colours. Such ikats, especially when worked in silk, are among the most costly and prestigious of textiles.
Ikat weaving, with its highly distinctive patterning, is one of the ways that colour and motif comes to be associated with a particular area or culture. An ikat speaks of its origins in an eloquent and timeless voice.
Maiwa works with ikat craftspeople throughout India, encouraging a return to natural dyes, which firmly establishes ikat as a high-quality cloth. We also actively work to incorporate ikat into clothing and bedding to promote this exquisite combination of weaving and dyeing.