The word ‘ikat’ was derived from the Malaysian language as ‘mengikat’ which translates into ‘to tie’. Ikat (pronounced ee-KHAT) hence refers to a dying technique where colour is applied to the yarn prior to weaving. The loose threads are tied into bundles to mark where the dye is supposed to settle – like a more complex type of tie-dye. The technique therefore requires a lot of specific skills, as the weaver has to figure out where on the natural thread the colour should and shouldn’t go in order to give the desired pattern when woven on the loom. There are two types of designs – single and double ikat. Single ikat is made by either dying the warp threads (fixed to the loom) or the weft threads (woven in and out of the warp threads). For double ikat, a very difficult practice, both warp and wheft threats are dyed. KRAFT sources ikat from Hyderabad, India – you can read more about the weavers workshop and what is so special about it here.
All KRAFT Lifestyle materials are hand-dyed and handwoven, ensuring that each inch is made with love, care and attention to detail. At the weaver’s workshop in Hyderabad, six women work on the handlooms, and one master weaver ensures that each design is exact to the threat. Depending on the complexity of the pattern, a team of two can weave 2-4 inches of material in a day. Overall, the span of production of materials – from the cotton field to the finished ikat in the shop – is around one month.