The name ‘Ikat’ comes from a Malay word meaning to tie or to bind. The name encapsulates the elaborate process behind the realisation of this unique fabric. The traditional manufacturing technique consists of marking, tying and resist dyeing the design into the yarn before the fabric is woven to create its characteristic vibrancy of colour and pattern.
When you think of ikat silk sarees those elaborate and intricate diamond shape patterns, curved scroll and paisley designs come to your mind. Do you know what seems like printed designs on fabric is actually a complex weaving pattern that uses specially dyed threads o develop such pattern on the fabric. Even though it hails as a tie-dye textile art, but ikat has its own flavor as well.
As per sources of information, Odisha Ikat dates back to the 12th century when artisans from the Patan region of modern day Gujarat migrated to Orissa and carried forward the craft.
The process begins with the yarn that is tightly wrapped together and worked into bundles. The design is planned in advanced and realized by extremely skilled craftsmen, by marking bundles and tying them in correspondence of the pattern. The bundles are dyed as many times as required to create the desired pattern.
Not just the common mass even the celebrities like Aishwarya Rai Bachchan have fallen for Ikat silk sarees a number of times. It is available in the cities like Sambalpur, Bargarh, Sonepur and Boudh areas of Orissa. In Orissa, it is also called as the Bandha.
The yarns used for this design and weave is fine. The designs often have animal motifs and curvilinear patterns. In this form, the tie-dyed yarns are first arranged in the loom in a design and then the solid-colored weft yarns are introduced. This form of ikat silk sarees is very old and is used in Indonesia as well as to create the ikat designs.