Ikat FoldsAnyone interested in textiles is likely to have had a spree with tie dye, I would imagine. Ikats, although using the same technique at the outset of the process take this to another level entirely. The Ikats from Uzbeckistan that Tinsmiths has bought over the last couple of years have been fabulous. To fully appreciate the skills of the dyers and weavers Ruby Clark’s “Central Asian Ikats (published by V & A publications, ISBN 978-1-851-77525-5) is an invaluable resource.

It took me some time to grasp that the patterns in an Ikat are made by the selectively dyed silk or cotton warp threads (vertical fibres) and that all are hand weaved on domestic-sized looms, hence widths are not usually more than 18” or 45cm. Some of these patterns are unbelievably complex and the preparing of the warp threads therefore extremely sophisticated.