Ikat (pronounced I-cat) designs are some of the most widely recognized patterns in the world.
Nearly every country and culture has used the design for hundreds of years, making it one of the oldest fashions in history.
But even today, their striking look and beautiful design often turns heads, making others curious.
And while the design and styles may vary, but the way the pattern is actually created is a very similar process.
The ikat design is so old, its origin remain somewhat of a mystery. We think it might have started in South America.
What we do know is that the ikat process started in many cultures independently.
Ikat spread rapidly in the pre-Columbian world, moving to Central America, Europe, the Philippines, China, and India relatively quickly.
Clearly, the design was popular!
Each culture put their own “signature” style on it, making the designs very recognizable today.
India, for instance, has an extremely unique ikat look that is instantly recognizable. Most of the time, it’s used in sarees with a common base color and a unified accent color throughout.
How it’s Made
Ikat production can be an extremely labor intensive process. Many times, there is little room for error and many steps involved.
The most important part of the production process is the ability to prevent the dye colors from being absorbed in certain places.
Usually, dye resistant material such or bands are wrapped tightly around these areas and the entire cloth is dipped into the dye.
Here’s a quick video on the production:
Ikat is Timeless
Ikat designs are clearly never going out of style.
After all, any fashion that’s been around since roughly the 6th century is safe to deem fad proof.
In particular, there is an almost sophisticated feel to many of the designs from India, and they have a beautiful texture to them when compared to many other ikat designs from other countries.
Ikat is here to stay, and its awesome look will continue to turn heads!