Thursday, May 3, 2012

Bali: Weaving Ikat

Earlier, in Jogja, we saw a demonstration of one of Indonesia's two major traditional textile techniques, batik.  While in Ubud were able to catch a glimpse of a woman using the other technique: ikat.

Ikat is a technique that involves pre-dyeing strategically bound bundles of threads (either the warp, the weft or both, in the case of double ikat) using a method similar to tie-dye in order to make a particular pattern.  Then the pattern takes shape as the dyed threads are woven into cloth. For tie dye, as you may remember from making it as a kid, the fabric is woven or knitted first, then bound and dip dyed.... 

In this case, the woman was weaving weft ikat, meaning the pattern only shows up as the weft strands are woven through and carefully adjusted (although the blurry edges where the alignment is a little off is part of the appeal).  You can see how the one thread is being lined up with the pattern and will then be smooshed in (a technical term) with the others:

Pretty cool!  We also made some ikat purchases.  Hopefully I'll be able to share a final ikat project over at the other blog soon!

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