An Ikat Panel Mounted on Board. Uzbekistan Circa 1960. The edges of the board have been covered with a Turkish cotton braid.
The word ‘ikat’ (pronounced ‘ee-KAHT’) comes from the Malaysian word ‘mengikat,’ or ‘to tie,’ because the loose threads are tied into bundles using grasses or wax-treated cotton to specify where the dye is able to sink in and color the thread (basically a refined type of tie-dye). What this means is that the weaver has to calculate out where on the loose threads the dye should (and shouldn’t) go in order for it to form the proper pattern when it is woven on the loom. It gets more complicated as you add more colours. Some ikats are made by dyeing the warp threads (the fixed threads that are attached to the loom), some by dyeing the weft threads (the threads that are actually woven in and out of the warp threads), and some by dyeing both, a technique known as double ikat. It’s like an aesthetic logic puzzle, and just thinking about it makes my head hurt.
Dimensions: 14 1/2″ wide. 31″ high
Dimensions: 37 cms wide x 79 cms high