Central Asian Ikats
Posted on July 25 2018
The striking silk ikats sourced by Georgina to make Nomad Design's cushions, lampshades and eye masks are made by hand in the Fergana Valley in Uzbekistan. This particular type of ikat is characterised by its bold colours and intricate patterns.
The artisans use techniques that are over 1600 years old. The silk and cotton mix yarn is first measured at 170 meters long and the stretched over a frame. A Master Designer marks the pattern in charcoal on the silk warp threads. When this is finished the resist dyeing process begins. Cord or, more frequently today, plastic is wound around the silk warp threads and acting as a resist to keep the thread underneath white. After the bound warp threads have been removed from the frame they are placed in the dye bath, lightest colour first. The sam process is repeated as per the quantity of colours required. Seven is the maximum possible. Once the bound warp threads are dry all the resist material is removed and threaded onto the loom where it is woven into a cotton weft.
The same techniques have been used for over 1600 years. The original term is actually Indonesian. The noun means cord, thread or knot and the verb means to tie or bind. In Uzbekistan its original use was for vibrant clothing such as traditional coats called Chapan and for trading along the infamous Silk Road. The colours and embellishments like embroidery and tassels were symbols of social status, much like textiles are in our today world today.
Ikat has become the staple secret style weapon used by Interior Designers and decorators all over the world to create gorgeous jewel-like pops of colour that add colour and depth to any room. Mix hot pinks and orange, yellows and greens to emulate your own bold interior.