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.