Everyone’s heard of tie-dye, or at least they have if they’ve been paying any attention to the arts and crafts world over the last few months (we love that the 70s have been enjoying such a revival!), but chances are that you’ve yet to come across its distant cousin, ikat – a similar method that results in delightfully unique and vibrant designs.
The word ‘ikat’ means to tie or bind and, although originally first used to describe the process of tie-dying in a certain way, it has since begun to be used to refer to the resulting textiles – which, we think we can all agree, are absolutely beautiful. It’s no wonder that this traditional craft is becoming more and more popular as time goes on.
Once the threads have all been dyed and weaved together to make absolutely stunning patterns and prints, they can be turned into anything your crafty heart desires. Traditionally, repeated patterns like cypress trees and ram’s horns were seen on cloth that reflected the long-standing motifs seen in central Asian art, but while these are still admired and are undeniably gorgeous, the craft has been given a seriously contemporary twist in the last couple of years.
One designer making seriously cool moves in the ikat department is Ptolemy Mann, who uses these traditional skills to make modern fabrics, furnishings, bed linen, cushions, rugs and throws. We’re particularly keen on her new range of lampshades produced alongside Copper & Silk, which would be a very funky addition to any living room anywhere.
We caught up with the folk at Copper & Silk to find out more about ikat and what it’s all about. “We love the exotic flair that ikat lends to any interior – instantly energising the space. We love it best in bright pops of colour and contemporary patterns, although the traditional weaving process is fascinating as well,” the team told us.
So what do you think about ikat? We can’t get enough of the contemporary look and feel to it, mixed perfectly with the traditional skills the practice requires. While we don’t have any ikat products on our site at the moment, we’re sure you’ll like our tapestry place mats just as much so have a peek to see what takes your fancy.