January 26, 2011

Colors of the Oasis.

Let me just put this out there – I LOVE ikat! My next dream vacation would be a shopping spree to Uzbekistan to purchase ikat textiles galore – oh the joy!

So you can imagine my disappointment when I learned that I missed the opportunity check out this exhibit at the Textile Museum during our recent trip home to DC. Alas.

Here is a little bit about the history of Ikats. Ikats display Central Asian artists’ and weavers’ attention to the harmony between design, color and execution in order to create their master works. 19th century Central Asian ikats are distinguished by bold, original designs using vibrant colors. The name Ikat is derived from the technique used to create them, whereby bundled textiles are bound and dyed several times before weaving, resulting a tie dye like pattern.

In Central Asia, a man’s clothing defined his status in society and proclaimed his wealth (hmm…not to dissimilar from NYC streets today, huh?!). But the home is where honor and wealth were on full display – homes were filled with the richest ikat textiles and many family ceremonies were celebrated in surroundings made beautiful with textiles. What a minute, was I born in the wrong era and on the wrong continent?!

But today, Ikat inspirations are everywhere in home design world. Here are a few inspiring images of ways to insert a little bit of ikat into your abode.

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