Wonderful Ikats in Uzbekistan: Part 1

I unearthed my pile of ikats from Uzbekistan when I found the Philippine blouse in the previous post. I’d forgotten how vibrant and beautiful the pieces I brought home were.

I also found my photographs that show precious aspects of the process of weaving these ikats. Here is a photo I took of men tying the warp threads. When they are dyed, what has been tied will resist the dye. When all the colors are dyed, they will be put on the loom and the pattern will loom into view as the cloth is woven. What a marvel! Here it looks like all the threads were first dyed yellow. Here they are tying the areas of the pattern where the yellow will be protected from the new dye colors. In so many techniques, it’s the way of resisting the dye that is the technique to make the patterns. This is sophisticated “tie-dye” for sure!

Here is a photo I took of a warp on a loom. Notice the woman in the back of the photo doing something. There you can see where the end of the warp is. The warps are tremendously long. In the previous photo the threads are folded several times on the tying frame so the pattern is repeated over and over for the very long warp when the length is stretched out.

The line across the pattern is so they line up perfectly. It’s called the registration mark. It would be at the ends of the warp shown in the second photo—where a repeat would be. I sought out fabrics where the registration lines showed because that interested me. Notice the mirror image of the design –that happens when the warp is folded back on itself on the tying frame.

Here’s a registration line visable on the warp on the loom.

Here is another photo of a long warp. Check out the remainder of the warp in the back corner.  So, for the entire length, the pattern has to match up.

Here’s a shot of the weaving room in one of the studios we visited.

Another shot of some of my fabrics.

More to come about my Uzbekistan textiles in posts to follow as I get them ready for my sale.

10 thoughts on “Wonderful Ikats in Uzbekistan: Part 1”

    • I never thought to ask. I think the threads were very study and they use professional techniques so that doesn’t happen?

  1. I just bought some cotton ikat at the grand bizarre in Istanbul and I’m trying to figure out how to match the pattern. There are two different patterns. Very confusing. I spent quite a bit of time looking at it and didn’t come up with a solution. I’m making pants so want four lengths for them that match up front and back and side to side.


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