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n. (context uncountable English) A style of weaving that uses a process similar to tie-dye to dye the threads.


Ikat, or ikkat, is a dyeing technique used to pattern textiles that employs resist dyeing on the yarns prior to dyeing and weaving the fabric.

In ikat the resist is formed by binding individual yarns or bundles of yarns with a tight wrapping applied in the desired pattern. The yarns are then dyed. The bindings may then be altered to create a new pattern and the yarns dyed again with another colour. This process may be repeated multiple times to produce elaborate, multicolored patterns. When the dyeing is finished all the bindings are removed and the yarns are woven into cloth. In other resist-dyeing techniques such as tie-dye and batik the resist is applied to the woven cloth, whereas in ikat the resist is applied to the yarns before they are woven into cloth. Because the surface design is created in the yarns rather than on the finished cloth, in ikat both fabric faces are patterned.

A characteristic of ikat textiles is an apparent "blurriness" to the design. The blurriness is a result of the extreme difficulty the weaver has lining up the dyed yarns so that the pattern comes out perfectly in the finished cloth. The blurriness can be reduced by using finer yarns or by the skill of the craftsperson. Ikats with little blurriness, multiple colours and complicated patterns are more difficult to create and therefore often more expensive. However, the blurriness that is so characteristic of ikat is often prized by textile collectors.

Ikat is produced in many traditional textile centres around the world, from India to Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Japan (where it is called "kasuri"), Africa and Latin America. Double ikats—in which both the warp and weft yarns are tied and dyed before being woven into a single textile—are relatively rare because of the intensive skilled labour required to produce them. They are produced in Gujarat in India, the Okinawa islands of Japan, the village of Tenganan in Indonesia, and the villages of Puttapaka and Bhoodan Pochampally in India.

Usage examples of "ikat".

He disappeared into the bedroom and returned with a folded square of ikat fabric richly woven in scarlet and brown.

Drowsily she rolled up in the ikat and rested her head on a pillow, hoping her fatigue would allow her to sleep despite her excitement.

Then she wrapped the ikat coverlet around her and settled down behind the screen, the books resting by her pillow as symbols of the life that was almost within her grasp again.

On the wall above his desk he had thumbtacked a square piece of ikat fabric, and next to it, one of the most recent survey maps.

Not stirring when she rubbed its fur clean with the ikat, and tried to pull out some of the hunks of sugar crystal from its fur.

She had the cloth of ikat in her hand, and she touched his face with it and wiped some of the rain out of his face.

Before her stood Giselle Somerville, as finely dressed as she had ever been in a round gown of dark gold Indian ikat muslin.

Kabin that she dwelt: yet a man from Ikat will tell you that Lespa was a Yeldashay girl.

Meris had at first supposed that they must be on the Ikat road and going south, for she had been told that the pedlar would be taking her to Chalcon.

Kabin to Ikat, nodded as he listened to U-Sarget, from time to time looking round at his drummers to make sure that they too had understood the patron.

On either side of him rose the backward-sloping walls of the outer precinct, forming a kind of funnel down which the paved roadway led eastward from the gate itself to the junction, outside the city, of the highways from Thettit-Tonilda and Ikat Yeldashay.

Tonilda, the silk and jewel markets of Ikat Yeldashay or the iron foundries of Gelt.

I know he once traveled a long way to the south, beyond Ikat Yeldashay.

Erketlis in Chalcon, decided to fall back on Ikat Yeldashay for supplies and a general re-fit.

Erketlis has taken Ikat Yeldashaywith all its resources, of courseand given out that he intends nothing less than the conquest of Bekla.