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  Orissa Patan Patola | Telia Rumal | Koyalagudum Ikat  

IKAT - is a type of weaving where the warp, weft or both are tie-dyed before weaving to create designs on the finished fabric. Great care must be taken in tying resist areas with water repellent material such as bicycle inner tubes cut into strips. The precision of the wrapping determines the clarity of the design. After wrapping, the warp threads are dyed. When finished and unwrapped, the areas under the ties have stayed the original colour. Numerous colours can be added after additional wrappings. Designs generally are worked out on graph paper. Great care must be taken in putting the warp on the loom, keeping all the threads in position is necessary for the design to work. The natural movement during weaving gives ikat designs a feathered edge which characterize this technique .


Patan Patola

The simple frameless looms used are an interesting arrangement of warp stretched across the room under tension with heddles suspended

 Gujarat, in northern India is home of one of the most famous ikat traditions called the Patan Patola. These silk fabrics are double ikat, traditionally done with vegetable dyes, but now using chemical dyes. The complexity of having both the warp and weft resist dyed makes the actual weaving much more demanding of precision. The intersection of these threads must be precise or the design is lost.

A sari length takes two men seven months to complete. Therefore it is no wonder that Patola weaving is dying out, with only two families remaining at the craft. These saris are prized pieces , but have been so throughout history. Mr. Salvi weaves on the special loom


Koyalagudum, Andra Pradesh is one of the busiest hand weaving villages centred around a co-operative producing thousands of metres of ikat each month. They specialize in warp ikat particularly suitable for furnishing fabrics made from cotton. Saris are also produced, this demand never ending as the average middle class woman owns at least 100 saris. Each weaver works from home with all the family helping in different processes. Perhaps the grandmother is winding bobbins, while the wife is marking out the design on warp threads and the husband is weaving on a pit loom in the main living area. In one corner rice is being sieved and tamarind is spread out. A child wanders around and a baby is in a hammock. Life revolves around weaving. 

The village co-operative owns several of these large warping mills which members use to create a warp quickly. 


ORISSAN  style of ikat has a long tradition dating back at least to the 12th century. Weavers migrated from the Patan area bringing the basic techniques which then developed over time to a unique style of flowing designs. The resist tying is done finely on two-thread units giving greater detail and fine curves. These units are tied freehand without marking out the threads beforehand. These men are opening out a newly dyed warp.

      Orissan house decorations drawn with rice paste, dedicated to the Goddess of Harvest Laksmi