I’d heard of ‘Ikat’ fabric before ((pronounced EE-Kat for those wondering)) but really had no idea how it was made. I soon learned a new reverence for this traditional fabric that is completely woven by hand.
While Batik starts with the fabric, and the design is waxed and dyed to the fabric itself –Ikat starts its life as simple thread.
Plastic bands that resist the dye are tied to the strands of thread in a pattern, and the thread is then dyed….when the bands are removed it leaves white spots where the bands were.
As these threads are then woven, warp and weft together, the patterns are created painstakingly by hand.
I showed a picture of a pieced bag made out of ikat that I brought home with me HERE.
Who would think that lovely designs such as this ---
Start their life HERE!
I so wanted this old ancient rack with its thread spools to come home with me! Again, this is a NON-ELECTRICAL process. Everything is done by hand. The drawing of the threads from the spool board ---to the mechanism that draws the threads together ---
And on to this round drum where the threads are rolled, counted and bundled.
From here, bundles of thread are secured across a frame and tied into a pattern with plastic ties. THIS thread is then dyed, leaving white spots when the bands are removed. If a second or 3rd color is desired, those are painted onto the white areas with liquid dye because it would take too much work to reband the newly dyed areas to over dye the remaining white spots. ((How is this for technical jargon!!))
Another shot through the factory.
Wall displays of ikat fabric --- purchase by the meter!
Ikats stood side by side with Javanese batik. It was a feast for the eyes!
Beautiful jewel tones!
And always, the ever-present offering!
This oldie but goodie hadn’t been moved in years – but still the offering is on the hood!
Yes, I’m still over the moon about Bali. With new appreciation for Ikat fabric and all that goes into weaving it. Since then I’ve seen “Printed” Ikat – meaning they've printed the fabric to look like ikat – and you know what? It’s a cheap imitation of the real thing. Nice try, but no dice!
I hope you’ve enjoyed sharing my memories of Bali and the culture as well as the fabrics. It’s been fun to share them with you!