For several years now, ikat has been popular in the design world, appearing in rooms both traditional and modern. A dash of ikat – at the windows, in pillows or upholstery – lends an exoticism that few other fabrics can convey. Whether in more typical ethnic colors or in the vibrant shades modern textile designers have brought to the fore, ikat shows no sign of waning in popularity – a relief to those of us who love its sense of mystery. What other fabric so easily represents a well-traveled life?
[ee-kaht], in case you were wondering about the pronunciation, is a method of printing woven fabric by tie-dyeing the warp yarns (warp ikat), the weft yarns (weft ikat), or both (double ikat) before weaving. The name also includes the fabric made by this method. Ikat patterns appear in cultures as diverse as Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Guatemala, Turkey, and India.
I love ikat for the home, particularly for the sense of punctuation it can bring to a variety of room styles. It’s versatile enough to play well with other patterns or stand alone as a statement against neutrals and solids. No one interprets ikat more beautifully, and more colorfully, than Madeline Weinrib.
Another great source is Quadrille Fabrics.
And ikat has definitely gone mainstream – check out this bedding from Target.
But I will admit, I’m still undecided on ikat as fashion. What do you think?