Hand woven ikat vs printed ikat fabric

According to the production technology, ikat can be handmade and printed. Before the advent of ikat printing technology, only handmade ikat existed, and its creation is a rather laborious task. First, we want to tell you a little about natural fabrics, which even in our speedy time some more craftsmen weave in hand from cotton and silk, as well as in hand paint, and often even with natural dyes – indigo, insane dye, pomegranate, onions, walnut and other dyes.
Ikat is a fairly fashionable fabric among world-class couturiers; Gucci and Oscar De La Renta are sewn from it. The USA, Milan, Paris, Rome applauded these fabrics, but unfortunately very few people know something about these fabrics, except that they are bright and oriental. First of all, ikat is the name of the technology for applying dye to threads by hand, before fabric is woven. The method of applying the dye is remotely similar to the nodular technique of batik. And here from these dyed threads a fabric is woven, necessarily manually, this is a feature of the technology. The result is a slightly pulsating edge of the pattern, and the presence of a white band, a stingray, is obligatory. The production process starts with the fattening of silkworm caterpillars.

At the end of May, the Uzbeks say “the new cocoon season is ripening.” Young pupae wrap themselves with silk fibers in cocoons.
So someone’s new silk dress grows on a tree 🙂

10 gr. caterpillars will grow to 80 kg of cocoons. It will take 70 days. From 9 kg. cocoons 1 kg. silk yarn, from 12 kg of silk yarn leaves 250-300 m of adras or 100-150 m of shoya comes out.
Before getting the end-product, the threads go through 100 processes during 120-150 days.

The process of fabric production begins simply – silkworm cocoons are processed.

Cocoons are boiled in hot water to soften gluten. This process is cruel, at the time of processing the cocoons, the caterpillars are still in the cocoon, and when they are boiled they die.

If you wait until the silkworm itself comes out of the cocoon – the silkworm will gnaw through the cocoon and some of the threads will be spoiled. The treated threads are tensioned onto a special frame on which they will tie up the threads before dying.
The width of the frame of each master weaver is different.

The threads are tightly tied into bundles, for example, with scotch tape, and then everything is dipped into the dye. In places of a coupler fabric remains white. If it is necessary to dye the fabric in several colors, the fabric is again tensioned onto the frame; a new tie is applied, and painted a second time.
It is in this place that the process of production of ikat fabrics most closely corresponds to the technology of batik production in nodular technology.

Threads are removed from the machine in bundles.

And then they are pulled on the loom, and weaved by hand.

On ikat, made by hand, there is necessarily a white slope, the strip on which the weaver smoothes the ikat pattern. The slope looks like this.

The repetition rate of the slope is equal to the width of the frame on which the fabric was tensioned, that is, 2.2 meters. If the fabric is made as an order, you can make the slope 4.4 meters, that is, 2 * 2.2, but ikat fabric cannot be done without a slope at all.

Oriental tailors do not remove the slope, since ikat fabrics are woven, including silk, and hand-woven, expensive fabric, and tailors try not to cut this fabric. In addition, this white stripe confirms the man-made fabric, and helps to create things with a unique pattern.
Here is an example of a cloth with a slope.

It is seen that the slope changes the pattern, destroys the symmetry, but also adds a zest to the fabric.
Examples of oriental robes with a visible slope.

Robe back view.
At the bottom of the center you can see the slope.

And now the front view.

The slopes are also visible, and it is clear that the pattern is not matched symmetrically, the pattern was not selected at all.

European designers are trying to sew symmetrical things, and this slope is cut out.
The thing becomes more symmetrical, orderly, part of the chaos is removed.
But!! This technique increases the consumption of fabric for the product, and corresponds to the cost of sewing the product.
According to the described technology, several types of fabric of different composition are made –
1) adras – fabric with cotton weft and silk base,
2) shoi – 100% silk fabric,
3) khan-atlas, (it is done both manually and by machine)
4) Alo-bakhmal – nap fabric.
Ikats, like everything else in our world, are man-made, sometimes faked.
Fake ikats are made by stamping, it can be distinguished by clear lines of the edge of the pattern (in ikats, the edge of the pattern is uneven and pulsating).

How to distinguish handmade ikat from print?

Hand-woven fabric has a white band on the edge – a slope. It goes through a certain number of meters of fabric – this is the width of the machine frame on which it was made. Sloping line is a sign of handmade fabric.
The manufacture of printed fabrics was widespread among the peoples inhabiting the present territory of Uzbekistan. Printed tablecloths, all kinds of curtains, blankets, shawls, high-quality fabrics for women’s dresses, a variety of bedspreads, including horse blankets, even funeral shrouds and other piece and meter printed items served utilitarian functions and served as decorations for everyday life.

This art was famous for Bukhara and the villages adjoining it. Wonderful products were made by the masters of Urgut, Shakhrisabz, Samarkand, Katta-Kurgan, Fergana, Tashkent, and the chop of Khorezm was unique in its originality.

The traditional art of decorating fabrics printed pattern is associated with ornamental wood carving. The archaic methods of hand-stuffing using wooden carved stamps are known to many nations, and everywhere this amazing by its simplicity and generosity of artistic expression art is marked by the stamp of national originality. The centuries-old culture of development of this art in the territory of Uzbekistan is undoubted. Discovered by archaeologists wall paintings V-VIII centuries often contain images of richly ornamented clothing made from various fabrics, decorated with embroidery, woven and printed patterns.

Black pattern with a thick red coloring on a pinkish background – a strict and at the same time warm gamma – a favorite color of the print of the masters of Uzbekistan of the XIX-XX centuries. In the past, the color of the print was more diverse, and the dark blue indigo print was developed and was popular. The tradition of folk art has selected and preserved to this day only a kind of black and red print. The ornamental compositions of printed fabrics are dominated by fantastically transformed images of a flowering garden – lush blooming, graceful buds, interlocking shoots, stems, leaves, ripening fruits – pomegranate, almond, strawberry, etc. Geometric motifs are always subject to smooth and at the same time precise rhythms the whole composition, and this is especially felt in piece products with a rich multi-row border and large, also multi-row circles in the center, this can be seen in the album on the Bukhara and Tashkent samples.

Original methods of manufacturing printed fabrics. The Bukhara and Tashkent samples. decorated fabric, necessarily cotton, was impregnated with a solution of tannin prepared in the past from the gall of pistachio tree, the pattern was applied to the fabric by hand using kalybs — wooden stamps.

Bukhara and Tashkent samples. decorated fabric, necessarily cotton, was impregnated with a solution of tannin prepared in the past from the gall of pistachio tree, the pattern was applied to the fabric by hand using kalybs — wooden stamps.

The individuality of each master’s creative work was expressed in the process of printing a pattern, in his ability to select and assemble kalybs, which each master had several dozen or even hundreds of copies. Patterned stamps served for a long time and were inherited.

The making of kalybs was the original branch of woodcarving art, which the masters of Bukhara were especially famous for in the past. Among the modern carvers are also known masters who make kalybs, Tashkent modern carvers created kalybs with interesting patterns of cotton bolls, cotton flowers.