〣 Location: Village of Choutuppal,Telangana, India〣 No of Artisans: > 10〣 Specialty Skill: Ikat resist dyeing & weaving
Ikat (pronounced as 'ee-kaht') is one of the oldest patterned textile weaving techniques in the world - dating back to more than 200 years ago. It comes from the Malay-Indonesia expression ‘mangikat’ i.e. to bind, knot or wind. The entire production process takes more than two months - from graph marking, yarn tying, dyeing and then weaving. The entire process is done from scratch, using traditional dyeing and handloom methods.
Image above: Maiden threads preparing to be used for the ikat process.
Image above: Artisan making markings for where the patterns will go
Image above: Artisan yarn tying, preparing threads for the hand dyeing process
Image above: Artisans hand dyeing yarns
Image above: The final ikat fabric made into a garment.
A key characteristic of ikat textiles is the “blurriness” of each design. It’s a result of the extreme difficulty of lining up dyed yarns when weaving. However, this characteristic is often prized by textile collectors (adapted from the craftatlas).
ABOUT THE COMMUNITY
This batch of Ikat fabric was skilfully made by the traditional weaving community named Tripurasundari, in the village of Choutuppal, India. Each weaver is able to make no more than a few meters a day and the tie-dye process takes several weeks.
Ikat goes beyond just being a fabric, but an invisible force that binds an entire village community together; their way of life is deeply intertwined with this textile heritage, that has become much a part of their way of life.