Content by Bruce McLaren
Well unless you have been living under a rock you will be well aware that Ikat - a traditional textile technique that employs a process similar to tie-dying - is now the fashion statement of choice.
This is not exactly a completely now development in the world of fashion, as some designers have been playing around with it for some time - as this Oscar de la Renta dress from 2004 shows...
Still, there has been a marked trend in recent times to take the Ikat ball and run with it....
First, I should probably tell you what exactly Ikat is. Ikat is an Indonesian word (Javanese to be precise) that means 'to tie', which, as has already been explained applies to the technique used to make the textile. Making Ikat textiles is a very complicated job, as each thread is 'bound' to resist the dying process, in order to color a thread so that it will be incorporated into a textile design and make the desired pattern. This is different from 'batik' where the textile is first made and then tie-dyed.
Ikat is not a method of textile production limited to Indonesia. It is actually a technique known across the Americas, in Japan, throughout South-East and Southern Asia. But most famously the Ikat technique is known in Indonesia and Central Asia. As the two examples below demonstrate, the Ikat designs from Indonesia and Central Asia can be remarkably similar:
Ikat textiles are constructed on looms, usually using cotton on silk. Here are a few pictures to give you a glimpse of how it is done....
Here we are in Uzbekistan, sorting silk threads for Ikat
And here is an Ikat being woven on a loom in Indonesia
When it comes to the final product, here is a typical Ikat shop in Uzbekistan
On a final note when it comes to the real Ikat deal it has to be said that the Ferghana region of Uzbekistan is particularly famous the production of Ikat. The Ferghana Valley is a particularly verdant region of Central Asia, tucked into the western edges of the Pamirs. To see the women there wearing brightly colored Ikat scarves is certainly part of any true Silk Road experience.
All that being said, let us move in the realm of fashion, most subjective, transient and fickle of terms!!
Now not everyone is as fortunate as me in being able to attend Milan and Paris Fashion Week and hob-nob over a glass of Bolli with Posh and Heidi Klum - good people - but if you have even flicked through a fashion magazine recently you will have noticed Ikat designs being employed in every element of sartorial attire.
Just take a look at the following...
Of course, a kazillion yards of Ikat prints have been churned out for women's clothing, the final products looking something like this:
And then are the limitless accouterments than any female worth her salt must be equipped with, such as:
But, and this is a big BUT, fashion these days also applies to blokes, or, to put it more specifically the legions of metrosexuals who also feel that they MUST have Ikat clothing. So, take a look at these - some are good, some are bad, in the sense of being tasteful that is...
Put in a nutshell, the options are endless....
WHICH beings us to rugs. The whole Ikat design rage has crossed over into the world of rugs, which may now grace the floors of your abode. There is quite a range of Ikat rugs out there, some are bursting with color, some are very subtle. Either way, there is one to accommodate your tastes and needs.
Here is a selection of our latest arrivals for you to perouse...Each is currently available and crying out for a home. Go ahead and impress your friends by being ahead of the fashion curve...