Ikat | Throws, bedcovers, tablecloths, curtains

  FABRICS OF IKAT: Throws, bedcovers, tablecloths, curtains.... @ Onevillage.com


Ikat Spectrum red
Ikat Spectrum mid blue

Ikat Chequered green
Ikat Spectrum light blue
Ikat Spectrum light blue

Ikat Chequered yellow

Ikat, the most marvellous of handloom weaving:
Exceptional fabrics ready to use as tablecloths, curtains, throws, bedspreads.

2 distinct designs, each in choice of colourschemes. Edges hemmed all round.
Up to 3 sizes.   Follow the links by the photographs above for information and to order.

India has a very long history of weaving – her skills of using hand looms stretch back many centuries.
    Since the introduction and progression of the «industrial revolution» that began in the UK, much of handloom craft has been lost from modern India. The Gujarat city of Ahmedabad is sometimes described as «the Manchester of India» because of the number of mills established there making huge quantities of fabric on machines powered by burning carbon fuels.

    Yet the hand spinning of yarn and its weaving on hand operated looms – qualities that were greatly praised by Gandhi – thankfully continues in a number of places despite the competition from mechanized looms.

    Whilst machine made fabric can appear «perfect», it does lack the texture of slight irregularities that are a joyful hallmark of genuine craft where each piece is unique.
    Those in the know, choose handloom.

    Craft made weaving displays within it evidence of the attention, care and energy of the person who at the loom created each piece of fabric row by row.

    Handloom weaving is always extremely complex work, but the combination of mental and physical effort is much greater when the fabric contains patterns formed by the incorporation of different or uniquely dyed yarns.

    But of all weaving, surely authentic ikat must be demonstration of the greatest skill....

    The extraordinary creativity of ikat begins back with the yarn, even before the dyeing process.
    This is because every single piece of yarn in ikat carries on it detail of the larger pattern that the eye sees on the finished cloth.

    The yarn itself is patterned. Along each length of yarn the colour changes according to the precise formula necessary for the greater fabric design of which it forms a part.
    Close examination of a piece of ikat yarn will reveal places along the length that are dyed and also places that are not dyed – or are dyed in different colours, as required by the design of the completed fabric.
How is this done?

    Before weaving can begin, and even before the yarn is dyed, an expert carefully measures out on the yarn the scheme of the eventual pattern.
    Those parts of each length of yarn that need to remain undyed are tightly bound over with rubber seals and tied.

    After this, the whole lengths of yarn go into the dyeing vat where the uncovered sections of yarn receive the dye but the sealed bound over parts remain undyed.
    Out from the vat and dried, the rubber bindings are removed to reveal lengths of yarn each one with striped patterns.
    This binding over and dyeing process is often repeated for additional colours on the same lengths of yarn.
Dyeing is done in small batches. Undyed yarn (on left); Dyed red with binding still tied (right).     Eventually, after all that preparation, the yarn can be carefully set up as warp on the loom, with the striped yarn painstakingly arranged according to the exact configuration of the final pattern.
    Now at last can the weaving begin. Only after that is finished can the final effect of ikat be fully appreciated – patterns of vibrant colour with slightly «ghosted» edges. Ikat appears exactly the same on either side of the fabric.
    For «single ikat» patterned yarn is used only in the warp with plain single colour or undyed yarn forming the weft.
    In «double ikat» both warp and weft are patterned yarn.
    Borders are usually plain weaving without any pattern.

This amazing ikat craft is known to have existed in India since at least the 6th century. During the 13th and 14th centuries, the weaving was exported eastwards and reached Indonesia, where the technique was later copied. The word ikat comes from the Malay-Indonesian expression «manigikat», which means to bind, knot or wind around.

Nowadays, ikat is still done in some parts of Indonesia (their ikat usually distinguished by very dark colourschemes) and also in a few villages in India – mostly in the states of Odisha and Telangana.

Our made-up ikat fabric comes from villages in Telangana. Weaving here is mostly done in the workrooms of individual families but the weavers found that they were exploited by merchants and traders. A man called Konda Laxman Bapuji, son from a weaving family (and later a prominent socialist politician), was the inspiration and founder for a cooperative society first formed in 1950 and then repeated in other villages.

In most villages, every family joins the co-op, and by working together in a fully coordinated way, weavers have been able to increase their earnings per metre of fabric by a third. Society administration assists with procurement of materials and, of course, with coordination for export.

Sales through One Village are important for the survival of societies and of the craft in Telangana villages.

Onevillage.com ikat
Handloom weaving of hand dyed millmade 100% cotton yarn.
To see more, click images below.

Ikat Spectrum red
Ikat Spectrum mid blue

Ikat Chequered green
Ikat Spectrum light blue
Ikat Spectrum light blue

Ikat Chequered yellow

[Click images above for more information, and for shopping]





For neutral, «whitestripe» fabric, please click HERE.





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