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What is Ikat Fabric?

Updated 10/20/2021

Ikat in Indonesian language means to tie. Ikat is a dyeing technique used to make patterns on fabric by tying patterns on the yarn before dyeing and then weaving the yarn into textile.

Our woman artisan in Toraja weaving ikat fabric

In ikat, our artisans tie patterns on yarns using raffia ties to make the desired pattern. The yarns are then dyed. The bindings maybe altered to make new pattern and the yarns can be dyed again with another color. The process can be repeated multiple times to make multicolored patterns. When the dyeing is done, all the bindings are removed and the yarns are woven into cloth.

In batik technique, the resist is applied to the woven cloth using wax, whereas in ikat, the resist is applied to the yarns before they are woven into cloth.

Grandma Panggau, 80 years old, preparing the yarn for ikat fabric in Toraja
At Kasih Co-op, we sourced our ikat fabric from artisans from all over Indonesia, including Bali, Java (Jepara), Sulawesi (Toraja) and East Nusa Tengara. We worked with woman-owned small business to create our pouf, pillow covers and throws. Take a look at this video about our ikat pillows, poufs and throws making process
Our latest collection of handwoven ikat pillows are made of silk and cotton and have textured patterns.

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