Weaving traditional Ikat
Ikat, is a traditional style of weaving that uses a resist dyeing process similar to tie-dye on either the warp or weft before the threads are woven to create a pattern or design. A Double Ikat is when both the warp and the weft are tie-dyed before weaving. In the Malay language Ikat means "to tie" or "to bind". Ikats are imbedded in cultures from across the world, Ikat is still common in Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala and Mexico. In the 19th century, the Silk Road desert oases of Bukhara and Samarkand (in what is now Uzbekistan in Central Asia) were famous for their fine silk Uzbek Ikat. India, Japan and several South-East Asia countries have cultures with long histories of Ikat production. Double Ikats can still be found in India, Guatemala, Japan and the Indonesian islands of Bali and Kalimantan.
Ikats vary widely from country to country, like any traditional art or craft form. Designs and colours relate to specific cultures, religions and traditions and Ikats are often imbedded and represent symbols of status, wealth, power and prestige. Some cultures regard the Ikat to possess magical powers, perhaps due to the time and energy that goes into it's production.