Ikat in home dec

I get it, but I don't get it.

I loooove the beautiful images of ikat pillows and upholstery that have been floating around for the past couple years.  I don't have any real ikat, but I have seen some cute printed faux ikat fabrics at JoAnn for spring, and I did have this tank I bought and turned into a pillow.  I came across this article from the Home Workshop about how ikat is made, it is so interesting!  It's a totally unique process and is seriously complicated and confusing.  I read this whole thing and I don't get it!!  How do they get the patterns in there?  I get how there could be strips, but nothing so complicated... especially when they add multiple colors!
Does the description make sense to you?

What I do understand is how this easy-to-recognize fabric is everywhere in decor and is so cool and cute!  (I also learned that it's pronounced "ee-kat."  That one will be hard to make stick...)

Like I said, I love pillows the most...
Some my favorites are from Fabricadabra, which is the coolest site, by the way... the owner works with artisans all over the world and sells all kinds of great pillow covers and inserts.  The artisans are guaranteed a fair wage, and the products are so stylish!  The pillow inserts are made of organic cotton with a chemical-free fiber filling, too.  Fabricadabra has a little explanation of ikat, too, before their page of many choices of lovely ikat pillow covers (only $25-40!)

Here are some more inspirational images...
More pillows from the Table Tonic online store:
The lovely Jen Ramos's living room, from Madebygirl:
Spread from Vogue Living:
Spread from Elle Decor:
From Black & Spiro, absolutely beautiful things:
From Palmer Weiss (this one's a little tooooo much for me):
From Patricia Gray:
And of course, some Madeline Weinrib!
And here's my recycled tank pillow project on my bed.  But, this is not the real thing!  This is a cheap thin cotton with a printed design =(.
I should probably break down and get some real ikat somewhere.  I did see that Fabricadabra has silk/cotton blend ikat fabrics (only 14" wide...) for sale for $20/yard.

Do you like ikats as much as I do?  What's your favorite room or look for an ikat print... thing...?

11 comments

  1. I saw similar patterns at West Elm also! I think I would think about using the fabric for curtians!

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  2. I love the ikat look! I just scouted out some fabric in a gorgeous yellow ikat-esque print that I want to use to recover a wing chair for my bedroom. I can't wait to order it!

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  3. Yes I bought my Cardigan from Target. I know that since the sailor theme is big right now that forever 21 has a bunch too!

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  4. Great ideas of how to use it.
    Kathy

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  5. I need to get with the ikat. I'm feeling so out of the in.

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  6. Hey Suzannah!

    Thanks so much for the link to our article. I too was fascinated with Ikat. I had such an enjoyable visit with Kiran and Laura of Color Loom in Berkeley, who design and have manufactured the Ikat fabrics.

    Maybe I can shed some more light on the process for you. It's kind of like tie-dye, but for the threads first, before they are woven into fabric patterns. So the artisans need to precisely dye the bundles of threads in patterns that will later match up when woven on a loom, to become the Ikat design. It takes amazing planning and precision.

    And you can tell a true woven Ikat from a fabric surface printed with an Ikat pattern in two ways: 1) Look at the back -- on the real thing the design goes all the way through. 2) On the real Ikats the pattern will vary slightly throughout the whole panel because of the handmade nature -- on the surface printed ones if you look closely, you'll detect a repeat.

    At any rate, the designs are all beautiful.

    Keep on creating!
    Kathy

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  7. Hi Kathy,
    Thanks so much for the additional description! I can't quite picture it perfectly but ikat is an amazing and artful process. And the result is so beautiful!
    Suzannah

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  8. I definitely love them as you can see in your post! :)

    Jen Ramos
    www.madebygirl.com
    madebygirl.blogspot.com
    --

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  9. I am obsessed with Ikat, but the cheapest I could find was like $25 a yard! Although, just recently I made some pillows from a skirt http://thehillsarelivin.blogspot.com/2010/03/sewing-project-1-accent-pillows.html
    This gave me an idea: find a piece of clothing made from Ikat at a thrift store! Much cheaper.

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  10. Yeah, wish my ikat tank were real ikat; it's just printed. http://adventuresindressmaking.blogspot.com/2010/02/recycling-tank-into-trendy-ikat-pillow.html

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