Ikat fabrics instantly give a sense of exoticism to a room. The woven fabric with blurred effect lends spaces a stunning visual interest even if it is used only in small doses such as on throw pillows. There are different schools of thought on where ikat originated. Many believe that it came from Asia (its name is derived from the Malaysian word meningkat meaning to tie) and it traveled the world via the Silk Road. Others argue that it came from Central and South America. Ikat is produced using tie-dye techniques—binding and dyeing the strings before they are woven together to make a fabric.
Decorating with ikat can seem daunting at first because the patterns and colors can be bold and a little too bohemian. But these days, ikat is being produced in chic color combinations and in patterns other than paisley. Start with a pillow or an accent chair. But for heightened appeal, add an ikat rug from Charlotte Moss‘ collection for Stark or do your drapes in the fabric or should you happen to find a one of kind ikat fabric, frame it and hang it like a tapestry. The ikat motif has also been employed as decoration on plates, vases and all sorts of home accessories.
In fashion, ikat makes its presence felt every now and then especially in the collections of Etro, Dries van Noten and Oscar de la Renta. Whenever the tribal or folkloric trend becomes a buzzword, expect to see ikat in the pages of fashion magazines and in clothing stores. In the spring of 2010, ikat dresses were all over the Gucci collection. This season bag labels like Rafe New York and Kotur have included ikat pieces in their lineup.
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