As the days get colder, shorter and many of us spend more time indoors for the next few months, now is the perfect time to turn your attention inwards and make some changes to your home.
This season we’re bringing you a collection of Ikat cushion covers that are full of colour and texture; Rich silk and velvet Ikats in jewel tones have been designed to add warmth, comfort and a touch of luxury to any space.
Tying cultures together
Ikat is one of the oldest known patterned textiles in the world, with a history that spans across multiple cultures and is known to have existed in India since the 6th Century.
Ikat (a Malay-Indonesian language word that literally means to tie) is a dyeing technique used to pattern textiles that employs resist dyeing on the yarns prior to dyeing and weaving the fabric. [Source: Wikipedia]
Ikat is a weaving style common to many world cultures and is thought to be practised in over 30 countries across the world. It is most prevalent in Indonesia, India and Japan but is also still common in Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala and Mexico. In Iran, It goes by the Persian name, Daraee. In the 19th century, via the Silk Route, Uzbekistan and Xinjiang in Central Asia were famous for their fine silk Uzbek/Uyghur Ikat.
Traditionally, Ikats were symbols of status, wealth, power and prestige because of the time and intricate skill involved in the weaving process.
Ikat weaving springs from a long history of trade and traditions going back as far as the fabled East-West trading route known as the Silk Road.
The beautiful array of colours and patterns we see in Ikat today is the result of centuries of inter-ethnic collaboration.
Trendy and steeped in a rich tradition
Our latest collection of cushion covers are handmade in velvet-silk ikat fabric from Uzbekistan and silk ikat fabric from Boodhan Pochampally in India.
Uzbeki/Central Asian ikat differs from the Pochampally and Patola ikats of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Gujarat in India, in that it is a single warp affair. The warp is tie-dyed to form the pattern while the weft remains one colour. This renders a vertically running pattern rather than the more complicated double ikats found in India.
Uzbeki silk ikats have large, brilliantly coloured motifs with depth and dimension that originates from the natural vegetable dyes and hand-tied yarns that bleed during the multiple tie and dye process. Read more about Uzbeki Ikat at Conde Nast Traveller: On the Ikat trail.
[Picture credit: Flickr by Tomasz przechlewski]
Pochampalli Ikat is made in Bhoodan Pochampally, Telangana State, India. They have traditional geometric patterns in Ikat style of dyeing. Because of its unique design, efforts are on to revive the dying art. Pochampally saree received Intellectual Property Rights Protection or Geographical Indication (GI) status in 2005 and is unique to the region [Source: Pochampally]. Read more about Pochampally ikat sarees.
[Picture Credit: Flickr.com, Saurabh Chatterjee, Pochampally Rural Travels, Hyderabad]
Mixing vibrant colours, bold patterns, luxurious textures and accessorised in decorative tassels, our globally-inspired Ikat cushions are trendy yet steeped in rich history and tradition.