I know Ikat has been riding a wave of popularity for a while, but I'm still hooked. When I see it, I stare transfixed like a wide-eyed virgin. There's something so irresistible about the swirling patterns and vibrant colors--they have a seductive quality reminiscent of a bellydancer's swaying hips.
First some nerdy facts. I've been saying "eye-cat" but apparently it's "eee-kat". The term comes from the Indonesian word for 'to tie', but the technique itself is centuries old and found all around the world. Threads are tied in knots, dyed, and then untied and woven into cloth. So all those patterns are determined by where the knots are placed before the string is even dyed. Amazing, no?
Most of the Ikat in these images I've selected--and the pattern that seems most prominent today--is Uzbek in origin. In the bedroom of Madeline Weinrib, an Ikat bedspread mixes easily with stripes, chevrons and suzani motifs. Weinrib's eponymous line of global textiles sets the industry standard, so it's no surprise she applies these artisinal pieces so beautifully in her own home.
I love Ikat for its ability to slip easily into spaces of many different styles. From a glamorous traditional living room to a contemporary bedroom to a bohemian loft, the pattern injects a playful yet historied vibe. It says, 'Yes, I'm more cultured than you, but I won't make a big stink about it.'
And of course the range of Ikat hues presents a zillion opportunities to work it into your decor. Even a quiet, sophisticated grey interior can enjoy a taste of the exotic. I adore this as an alternative to a stuffy damask or floral--but the crisp tailoring on the bench cushion retains the posh feel.
My ultimate dream? To reupholster an old chair with eye-popping Ikat, just as seen above. The contrast of the delicate antique with the bold textile makes for a powerful juxtaposition. And the colors here in particular--the juicy fuchsia, deep teal, and sunshine yellow--radiate joy. How could you not feel happy in a chair like this?
P.S. Stay tuned this afternoon for more Ikat, including a shopping guide!
Image Credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Elle Decor 6. Elle Decoration France, August 2010. Sponsored Links: We offer guaranteed 1z0-144 study materials with latest 000-104 questions and answers to help you competently prepare for HP2-E31 exams.