A type of resist-dyeing, Ikat or Ikkat is majorly produced in Bhoodan Pochampally (Telangana), Sambalpur (Odisha) and Gujarat in India. These patterns are widespread around the world, with many being used in Africa and Latin America also. Contrary to other forms of resist-dyeing like Bandhej and Batik, Ikat is formed by using a resist on individual yarns/bundles of yarns rather than a woven cloth. The yarns are tightly wrapped up and then dyed, to create beautiful patterns. This stepwise process is repeated multiple times in order to produce all the intricate and multi-coloured designs. What makes Ikat unique is the apparent “blurriness” of the design, as the weaver usually finds it extremely difficult to align the different yarns together to form an exact pattern. This results in misaligned yarns, giving the blurry look. There are three different types of Ikat fabrics: warp ikat, weft ikat, and double ikat. Warp ikat utilizes the dying of only the warp yarns, while the weft ikat utilizes the dying of weft yarns, which makes it even more difficult to produce. In double ikat, both warp and weft yarns are resist-dyed and are, therefore, the most difficult to produce. The double ikat found in Patan (Gujarat) is the most complicated amongst the different varieties and is known as ‘patola’.
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