Everything You Need to Know About Ikat

These days ikat is basically a neutral. We see it everywhere--on pillows, headboards, ottomans, dresses--but how did we get here?

Bedroom Designed by Steven Gambrel via @elledecor

Ikat (pronounced 'ee-KAHT' not I-kaht) developed during the Middle Ages throughout the world. The most popular ikats hail from central Asia, where they are known for their “hazy” appearances. The technique known as “abra” allows the dyes to bleed slightly into what is known as the resist areas, hence creating almost a watercolor effect.

Marie Antoinette in a dress of chiné a la branche

Because producing ikat requires a lot of time and craftsmanship, traditionally it was a fabric associated with status, and when it hit the West via Dutch traders in the 17th century, it quickly became the fabric of the elite. The French began developing their own version in the 18th century called chiné à la branche.

Living Room design by Agustin Hurtado via @archdigest

Throughout the 20th century, ikat remained a staple in the interior, ranging from society families to artists, and it’s not going anywhere.

 

Call Me Nicole J. Ottoman

At The Inside, we developed our own ikat utilizing modern printing techniques, which means this beloved textile is no longer reserved only for royalty--how great is that?