What is Ikat fabric and how is it different from ikat print?
SKU Blog 1
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.
“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 a real 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 a 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:
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 and are in fact considered as advantages versus defects.
As beautiful as this fabric is, this is not Ikat. This is a fabric with Uzbek Ikat printed pattern without the Ikat tradition, it’s history, it’s luxurious feel, its small irregularities. Handwork, like human life, can not be flawless but it is rich, unique, exuberant.
UzbekAlive is an ikat fabric online store dedicated to promoting artisanal textile heritage of Uzbekistan. Our focus is on Uzbek ikat fabrics and ikat related products such as ikat cushions, ikat quilts, ikat pillow covers, ikat silk scarves and ikat pattern hand painted bowls.
We also feature some eclectic finds such as hand embroidered suzani and hand painted jewelry boxes which are miniature representations of Islamic mosaics and murals in a form of décor items.
I ordered 2 pillow covers and a very fragile bowl. The packaged traveled a far distance and it arrived at my doorestep in perfect condition. Really well packaged and fast delivery. Really like the quality and aeshetics of the poducts. My compliments to the makers of these products and thanks for the good service.
Joost V. Kemenade
I just wanted to let you know that my order finally arrived today!!!,i'm so glad,i have to say that it's been worth the wait ,all the fabrics are just beautiful. Thank you very much.
Wow! What a treat to order a beautiful woven piece of art through modern technology and not travel and the excitement of receiving the precious little package wrapped as a gift. I'm ready to put this scarf to work and figure out which one I want next. Thank you. I can't stop looking at it.
The parcel just arrived and the fabric is gorgeous! Just what I hoped it would be...once it is made up into lampshades I will send you a photo so you can use it for your marketing. Please let the designers / producers know they have one more very happy customer! Many thanks!