image © designboom

‘ikat’ – a term adopted from the malay word ‘mengikat’, which means ‘to bind, tie or wrap around’ – is known in thai as ‘mud mii’. the process involves dyeing only certain segments of the yarn, achieved by first wrapping those parts that are to remain undyed. ikat weaving is one of the most complicated and time consuming ways to pattern cloth.

the warp threads have been stretched onto a frame. the pattern is formed by wrapping dye resist strips onto areas that prevents saturation of color..the ‘programmed’ pattern appears.

silk making step 6: ikat image © designboom

an expert carefully measures out on the yarn the scheme of the pattern. threads can be patterned by repeated binding.

silk making step 6: ikat image © designboom

the yarn itself gets patterned. along each length of yarn the colour changes according to the precise formula necessary for the greater fabric design of which it forms a part. now the yarns can be immersed in a second dye bath.