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We owe inspiration for this post to this bed styling photo from One King’s lane. Do you see that bed? 
Did you notice black and white Ikat fabric bedcover?
Do you think it is true love too?
 :)

ikat fabric bedroom styling

Source: One Kings Lane | How to style Bed

Black and white is a classic. It is one of the most widely used color combination for a reason. It is about polarity,

two extremes, light and absence of light, full reflection of light and full absorption of light. Black and white is so retro
yet always fresh and trendy.

We have a similar black and white Ikat fabric in stock to make a similar bedcover.
For questions or custom orders, please contact us through a contact form. 

 

Black and white silk ikat fabric Black and white cotton ikat fabric

Black and white  cotton / silk ikat fabric | UzbekAlive

Comments | Posted By Curi @ UzbekAlive

Satin silk ikat fabric in black and white from Uzbekistan

This kind of ikat fabric is becoming a rare find these days. You would ask "why"?  Ikat fabrics have been in trend, their production is growing and we see them everywhere from fashion runways to interior decoration magazines. Well, because these ikat fabrics have a history and everything with a history is already faschinating, enchanting, valuable...

So what's so special about this Black and White ikat fabric? It was made before 1991 when the former USSR collapsed and with it collapsed the command economy.  The production of this silk ikat fabric was considered "needed for the people" by then Soviet State, included in production plans and manufactured according to Soviet State textile standards. 

The Soviet government did not allow any form of enterpreneurship because the economy needed to be planned and controlled.  The State determined what needed to be produced and everyone worked for that State. If an ikat maker wanted to make ikat fabrics he had to go work for the government and be paid a salary because having his own business was not an option. This is what this fabric is about.

  • - Soviet.
  • - Planned based on Soviet analytics of supply and demand.
  • - 100% silk.
  • - Hand dyed but machine woven on a Soviet industrial loom.
  • - New, never used.
  • - Today it is considered vintage
  • - ... and we only have 1.95 meters in stock

Comments | Posted By Curi @ UzbekAlive

Everything in nature is shaped a certain way to serve a specific function. The same is true for everything we, humans, create - there is a function we address by creating a product in a certain shape and we try to do it in the most cost effective way.

Let’s take Uzbekistan’s Ikat weaving culture and long silk scarf production which is directly linked to it. Uzbekistan has been an Ikat weaving culture for millennia. Ikat fabric artisans are famous around the world for their spectacular silk Ikat fabrics with bold and colorful Ikat patterns. We don’t know how an idea of making silk scarves was born or who came up with it. Most likely some creative soul just took some fabric and started wearing it as a long silk scarf. Regardless of historical facts behind the making of silk scarves, the artisans responded to a demand - they started making proper long silk scarves.

UzbekAlive’s silk scarves are long and narrow because scarves are a product closely related to ikat fabrics. Ikat fabric is woven on hand looms the width of which is limited to 50-60cm the most, you can read more about the ikat fabrics’ width limitation here. So, when someone came up with an idea of making Ikat silk scarves, it was only logical to take an existing production process for Ikat fabrics and modify it slightly to start making the long silk scarves.

Long silk scarf can be worn as a head scarf, as a neck scarf or a shoulder shawl. It is an absolute “must have” for traveling. Unique properties of silk will keep you cool in summer and warm in winter. A long silk scarf folds into a small piece of fabric, takes very little space in your bag and can be the only accessory you need to transform your look from casual to glamorous.

Comments | Posted By UzbekAlive

Suzani, beautiful hand embroidered suzani which in our case we are using as a smashing table runner!

Here is one of them fully hand emboidered in Uzbekistan which we suggest to use as a festive table runner. Perfect for holidays! This could be the the main decor item which will add that festive touch to your dining room! We have only one in stock, so, hurry and get started with your early Christmas shopping! 

Close up shot of the Uzbek suzani table runner. Please click on the image to be taken to product details.

Red floral hand embroidered suzani tablerunner Uzbekistan

This will make an excellent tablerunner for smaller tables. Most importantly, everything else can be kept simple. Just have one very festive piece of tabledecor and you are all set! 

Red floral hand embroidered suzani table setting Uzbekistan

Comments | Posted By UzbekAlive

Uzbek ikat fabrics are inique in many ways.

First and foremost, they are made of 100% manural fibers. Depending on a fabric, the fiber content varies from pure silk ikat fabric, cotton and silk blend ikat fabric (also knows as "adras") and pure cotton ikat material ("boz") .

Secondly, ikat fabric making to this day they is an entirely manual process.

Thirdly, and this is the point to which we would like to devote this post, most ikat fabrics made in Uzbekistan have a luxurious moire pattern.

What is moire you might ask? Wikipedia defines moire fabric as follows: 

"Moire is produced from two distinctly different methods of finishing. Calendering produces the true moire, known as "moire antique" and "moire Anglaise", which is a purely physical phenomenon. In calendering, the fabric is folded lengthwise in half with the face side inward, and with the two selvedges running together side by side. To produce moire, ribbed rollers are used, and the ribs produce the watermark effect. The rollers polish the surface and make the fabric smoother and more lustrous."

In simple English, it is a finishing process as a result of which the ikat fabric has a beautiful lustrous  watermarks-like finishing. Please see a photo below.

Word of caution: the finishing will wash off if the fabric is washed. Therefore, dry cleaning is recommended for  ikat fabrics.

Polkadot brown white ikat fabric

Polka dot ikat fabric in brown and white

Comments | Posted By UzbekAlive

We often come across people from other parts of the world who are passionate about Uzbek Ikat fabrics as much as we are. This post is a teaser to make sure your “I sooooo want to go to Fergana Valley!” finally comes true.

If you are in love with Ikat fabrics the place in Fergana Valley where you need to go is Margilan. Margilan flourished as an ancient settlement on one of the branches of the Silk Road. How sericulture and silk Ikat fabric making developed here is surrounded with of legends. The present day fact is - artisans of Margilan are keepers of sericulture and Ikat weaving traditions of Uzbekistan.

- Population of Margilan: 215,400 (2014) 

- Each house in Margilan has something to do with silk making, Ikat dying, ikat weaving or ikat fabric distribution. 

-  Silk yarn is mainly produced at a factory called “Margilan Silk Vats”. The factory runs on French equipment from “Les Atelier Diederichs de Bourbon” which was imported after WW2. For the local market they produce silk yarn for Margilani artisans. The rest of their silk fabrics is exported from Uzbekistan. A tour of the factory can probably (!) be organized, you need to ask your travel guide to arrange one for you.

- “Yodgorlik” (formerly state owned factory) is a where you can see Ikat making process from a cocoon to a lush hand died and handloom woven Ikat fabrics. Here you can also buy their Ikat fabrics.

- There are several types of fabrics made in Margilan:

Boz: 100% cotton Ikat fabric. 

Adras: silk and cotton fabric. In case of Ikat adras, the same pattern is visible on both sides

Atlas: silk or silk/cotton fabric with a smooth shiny surface. 

Ala bahmal: silk Ikat velvet

Sheer silk fabric: mainly produced at “Margilan Silk Vats”

- All fibers (mainly silk and cotton) used in the production of fabrics are natural and are sourced in Uzbekistan.

- Dyes are often natural, however, for bold and bright patterns synthetic dyes are often used. We will be updating this post as we go.

- The best places to buy ikat fabrics is either directly from artisans or at a bazaar which will offer a greater selection of ikat material.

- Dyes are often natural, however, for bold and bright patterns synthetic dyes are often used. We will be updating this post as we go.

- The best places to buy ikat fabrics is either directly from artisans or at a bazaar which will offer a greater selection of ikat material.

We will be updating this post as we go. As of now do you some burning questions we can answer? :)

Margilan silk VATS silk yarn weaving

Equipment at "Margilan Silk Vats"

0 Comments | Posted By UzbekAlive

First there was late Oscar de la Renta’s sensational 2005 fashion collection, then many others followed his footsteps. Uzbek Ikat fabric traditions continue to mesmerize both fashion designers and fashion lovers with their bold ikat patterns, ikat weaving craftsmanship and uniqueness.

We have recently come across works of a very young Italian fashion designer from Turin who shares our love for Uzbek Ikat fabrics. Meet Cecilia de Marchi! Cecilia designs for a brand Beltepa which has a store in Turin - those in Italy who have not had a first hand experience of Uzbek ikat fabric should definitely check it out. Last month Cecelia received the first prize at Barolo Fashion Show in Barolo, Piedmont for her captivating collection. Cecilia has a skill for mixing different textures of fabrics ranging from solid fabrics to rich and bold velvet silk Ikat. 

We applaud Cecilia for her beautiful fashion collection and are looking forward to be further enchanted by her works in the future. 

Beltepa velvet silk ikat collection

Photo credit: Beltepa Official at Instagram

0 Comments | Posted By UzbekAlive

Ikat fabric traditions exist in different parts of the world. There is no consensus as to whether these traditions have spread from one place, emerged independently in different parts of the world or there has been some exchange of skills along the way. Could be all three! What we know today is that there are three types of Ikat fabrics being made: warp Ikat, weft Ikat and double Ikat. The geography of Ikat making is predominantly Asia, but also Latin America.

Warp Ikat fabric is considered to be the easiest to produce. In warp Ikat fabric the warp yarn is dyed to have Ikat pattern while weft yarn is solid.

Weft Ikat is the opposite of warp Ikat - weft yarn carries the Ikat pattern while warp is a solid color yarn. Weft Ikat is more complex and is more time consuming. Picture:

Double Ikat is the most labour intensive, time demanding and elaborate since both warp and weft yarns have Ikat pattern which once woven creates a very intricate pattern. There are only three countries which carry double Ikat traditions - that is India, Indonesia and Japan.

Often times it is sufficient to look at an ikat pattern to tell the origin of ikat fabric. For example, Uzbek Ikat fabrics are usually bold In colors, often in contrasting colors with large patterns.For example, take a look at this ikat fabric. Just from the passionate colors and large patterns we know - this is work of Uzbek artisans!

Bayram cotton silk ikat fabric from Uzbekistan

Indian ikat fabrics, in contrast, are more tranquil, often in smaller geometrical patterns.Here is a beautiful example of gray and white warp ikat fabric from another Ikat fabric online store, The Design Cart

 Gray and white cotton ikat fabric

 

However, sometimes even we get confused about the origin of the fabrics because with internet - thank God for living in 21st century! - it is easier for everyone to learn from each other. This beautiful ikat fabric, also of Indian origin, could easily be Uzbek Ikat fabric while it is not - this is Indian warp ikat fabric:

Blue and white ikat fabric

 

Now you might ask what type of ikat weaving method s used for Uzbek Ikat fabrics. Well, Uzbeks are very simple people and we like to keep things likewise :) It is warp ikat.

0 Comments | Posted By UzbekAlive

Red silk ikat scarf

 Almost Japanese estetics for a silk ikat scarf which is far from Japanese minimalism. This is where cultures mix, mingle and eventually thrive. Here presented folded Kaleidoscope Red Ikat Silk Scarf.

Every little thing we surround ourselves with requires our time and attention. All those clothes in our closets need to worn, dishes in a cupboard need to be used, books on our bookshelves need to be read or else we are just investing money in these items but getting very little, if any, return on our investment.

Oftentimes some of us go as far as buying bigger homes or renting storage to store those extra things BUT WHY? If we are not using things for a long long time, chances are we will not use them ever. When we invest money in things we don’t use we don’t see a direct relationship with the time we spent working for that money. All those long hours translated into outfits which are just hanging in your closet - was it worth it?

This is to say -I am all for minimalism in everything! I started adopting minimalist style a few years ago and find that having a basic wardrobe can be liberating. These days I don’t spend so much time thinking what to wear because my minimalist clothing is very minimal. Once you figure which outfits work with each other, getting dressed in the morning is fast and easy. I can totally relate to late Steve Jobs who is probably one of the most vivid examples of minimalist style - he wore only black turtlenecks and jeans. It was his version of basic wardrobe which was time-freeing and allowed him to focus on important things but.... yes, there is a “but”. Steve Jobs was a guy while I am a girl.

So what exactly did not work for me with my earlier adopted minimalist style? The boredom of having the same or similar look all the time. It felt like I looked a little.... eee... dull, too gray, too beige, boring. That’s until I realized that a way to spice my minimalist clothing up is through accessories - a unique bag, an interesting piece of jewelry or a bright Ikat scarf just to name a few. Mind you - since you are (hopefully!) saving money by switching to minimalist style, now you can and should be buying higher quality accessories. Ikat scarves, especially silk Ikat scarves, have a special place in my basic wardrobe - they are beautiful, they are unique since the entire Ikat making process is manual and they are 100% silk.

Another aspect that makes any handwoven ikat scarf almost enchanting is a rich artisanal heritage associated with Ikat materials’ production. Ikat textiles are the opposite of a fast fashion. They are on the opposite spectrum of consumerism because you can’t buy too much of which is produced so little. Making of a real Ikat scarf takes time, attention and patience. Like a silk warm transforming from a cocoon to a butterfly, like everything worth working for in life, like mastering a skill - good things take time and that holds true to a quality and uniqueness of our Ikat scarves.

Here, at UzbekAlive, we only offer real, genuine ikat scarves and ikat fabrics. To understand the difference between real ikat and ikat print,  article "What is ikat and how is it different from ikat print?" may be helpful. 

0 Comments | Posted By UzbekAlive

What is ikat fabric?

6/12/2019 10:28 PM

Ikat fabric manual dieing process, orange yarn fabric

We often come across fabrics which are defined as “Ikat print fabric” which leaves us a bit perplexed. What in the world is Ikat print? How is it different from Ikat? These are questions we would like to cover in this post and hopefully clarify the difference.

Let’s start with Ikat terminology as defined by the gurus. Wikipedia defines Ikat as follows:

“ikat is a dyeing technique used to pattern textiles that employs resist dyeing on the yarns prior to dyeing and weaving the fabric. In ikat the resist is formed by binding individual yarns or bundles of yarns with a tight wrapping applied in the desired pattern (ikat means "to bind" in the Indonesian language). The yarns are then dyed. The bindings may then be altered to create a new pattern and the yarns dyed again with another colour. This process may be repeated multiple times to produce elaborate, multicolored patterns. When the dyeing is finished all the bindings are removed and the yarns are woven into cloth” 

As you can see there is no “printing” in the Ikat making process. Curious as to why not? Because real Ikats are a product of a manual labour with very little interference from technology and “printing” is not a part of Ikat making process. That’s if we are talking about genuine ikats. When one talks about “Ikat print” we can assume that these fabrics are ikat patterns PRINTED on already woven modern industrial age fabrics. These fabrics were not dyed or woven following a traditional resist dying and weaving process, like the fabric that was given a term “Ikat”.

Let's consider one example of ikat print fabric which is a beautiful, very traditional Uzbek ikat pattern being sold on www.fabric.com:

 Fabric Aethilla Ikat fabric

This is a modern day fabric dyed and woven using industrial mass production methods. It has its own advantages (e.g., it comes with a width which is suitable for wide curtains). It also probably has less weaving imperfections which are inherent to handwoven fabrics. As beautiful as this fabric is, this is not Ikat. This is a fabric with gorgeous Ikat printed pattern without the Ikat tradition, it’s history, it’s luxurious feel, its small irregularities because no handwork like human life can not be flawless.

Here, at UzbekAlive we only sell real ikats. This is why we often refer to them as genuine or authentic ikats. 

0 Comments | Posted By UzbekAlive
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