One of the hottest trends I’ve been seeing for Spring is ikat textiles. Ikat (sometimes spelled ikkat) is a time-honored technique used to create beautifully patterned textiles through the use of a resist dyeing process.
If you’re wondering how that is achieved, let me explain. Think about a typical patterned textile, for example, a polka dot upholstery fabric. When you imagine how that pattern is created, you might picture some sort of printing process, where designs are stamped onto a piece of blank fabric using dyes or paints. That is in fact how block-printed cotton fabrics, toiles and many other kinds of surface-patterned textiles are made. But in the case of ikats, the threads are dyed before they are woven into fabric. The result is a gorgeous, globally inspired patterns that come in a wide array of colors. I like to think of ikat as having a dressed-up bohemian vibe.
An Ancient Textile
Ikat patters can be seen in various cultures all over the world. In Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala and Mexico, ikat is still very common. In the 19th century, the Silk Road desert oases of Bukhara and Samarkand (today’s Uzbekistan in Central Asia) were known worldwide for their fine silk ikats. Japan, India, Thailand and several other Southeast Asian countries have long histories of ikat production.
Naturally, there is a large amount of variation from region to region. Certain designs may have symbolic of religious meaning or have been manufactured solely for export. Ikats often symbolize status, wealth, power and prestige. And maybe because of the amount of time and effort required to make ikats, some cultures believe that the cloth contains magical powers. Today, you’ll see ikat patterns on a variety of different textiles, from rugs to bags and even clothing.
So how do you incorporate this fun, traditional textile into your table décor? I thought you’d never ask! At BBJ Linen, we have a variety of gorgeous ikat-inspired table linen for any occasion. One of my current favorites is the versatile Silver Bravado. As the name implies, this pattern is bold, unique and impressive. Made from a very soft gray interwoven with a medium gray, it creates an assortment of several silvery hues. Like many of our patterned textiles, Bravado is reversible, so don’t miss the chance to use both sides together at the same event, or use it alone with the coordinating Duet accessories.
For an ikat-like pattern with a bit more color, you’ll love our Zuri table linen in a unique pinkish-purple and ivory print. You can mix and match with pinks, deeper purples, blues, greens and many other shades, depending on how you feel. Also, check out our Zecora pattern, an ideal compliment for a dash of wild texture and pattern.
How do you interpret the ikat trend? What other style of the moment are you hoping to incorporate into your table design? Let us know in the comments!
Table linen: Mist Bravado
Table linen: Bimini