Ikat (pronounced ee-kaaht) is one of the oldest means of fabric decoration. Like batik, it is made using a resist-dyeing technique. However, ikat is different in that the pattern needs to be meditated before and applied during the weaving process. So, bindings (agents resistant to dyeing) are applied to certain threads (either the warp or the weft) at specific lengths. The threads are dyed and the bindings removed. Only then can the ikat fabric be constructed.
Ikat artifacts have been discovered all over the world and no one country can lay claim to the fabric as it is believed to have popped up simultaneously in many different places. Today, many cultures still produce fine, hand-made ikats. The pillowcases I saw in Turkey were fantastic. Ikat has been ‘on-trend’ now for a few years. I hope it continues! Here are some cool ikats on the market. :)