the kaleidoscopic patterns and colors of IKAT

If you’ve been observant, you’ve noticed that Ikat (pronounced “eee-cot”) pattern has been the rage with designers in the last couple of years.

This ancient textile can now be found in everything from women’s bags to ice buckets and pillows, wall-coverings and lampshades. But I must confess, I knew little about the pattern so I decided to dive into its origin.
Ikat actually describes the weaving process AND the cloth itself and its actually a universal weaving style common to many cultures, from Ecuador to Indonesia.  But the quasi-floral pattern we associate with Ikat today comes from Central Asia, particularly from the region we now call Uzbekistan.
I won’t get into any technical details, but you can generally think of the cloth as a type of tie-dye.  In very simplistic terms, in Ikat the dyeing process happens before the individual elements are arranged in a loom.  With tie-dye the dyeing process comes after the cloth is loomed.
What’s wonderful about this pattern is that there are so many variations and it’s a great way to make a space feel very exotic or to up the energy in a more traditional interior.
image credits: (top – collage) Davidson News Stylephile; (center) Paul Messey for British House and Garden; (bottom left) Elle Decor – Steven Gambrel interior, photograph by William Waldron; (bottom right) Elle Decor – Katie Ridder interior, photograph by William Waldron.
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