Ikat is the only kind of textile, where a pattern is formed before weaving process. It is executed by appropriate dying of warps and (or) wefts. Name "ikat" means "graining" or "pursing" in Malaysian language. It demand al lot of work and care to make an ikat. Because of long period of production and unusual pattern, ikat textiles are one of the most expensive in the world.
Textile production is a part of Indonesian islands inhabitant life. High cotton-threes (Gossypium arboreum) grow around villages. The cotton is gathered, spin and prepared for dying. Dying is made with natural dyes received from local plant species.
Warp threads are appropriate arranged, before they will be placed at a loom. Elements of a pattern are wrapped by means of leafs or threads, in accordance with a design, to protect they form dyes penetration. This way prepared groups of threads are firstly dyed with light colours. After drying, next parts of pattern are protected, and the process is repeated. Each colour demands to make separate isolation of other pieces of an ornament and repetition of dying. Warp dying last a few month usually and must be executed during a wet season. When a rainy season comes, dyed threads are placed at the loom for weaving. Weft used to be monochromatic but colour of weft would be variable and create coloured strips. Very simple backstrap looms are used.
Thanks to kindness of Bogus³aw Żmuda, who is traveller and art collector, I had opportunity to know extraordinarily beautiful ikats. To see they, you would arrive to Indonesia or visit Indonesian Art Gallery (Galeria Sztuki Indonezyjskiej) in 32 Gliniana str. Lublin, Poland.