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About Ikat Saree/Patola Saree /Double Ikat saree/ Single Ikat Saree/ Pasapali Ikat

Updated: Oct 19, 2022

The Ikkat Saree is typical to traditional wear for women in the Indian subcontinent, clothing worn by women in Southeast Asian countries like Myanmar, Malaysia, the Philippines, Cambodia, Thailand and Laos resemble it, where a long rectangular piece of cloth is draped around the body.Saris, worn predominantly in the Indian subcontinent, are usually draped with one end of the cloth fastened around the waist, and the other end placed over the shoulder baring the midriff.

In past times, saris were woven of silk or cotton. The rich could afford finely woven, diaphanous silk saris that, according to folklore, could be passed through a finger ring. The poor wore coarsely woven cotton saris. All saris were handwoven and represented a considerable investment of time or money.

More expensive saris had elaborate geometric, floral, or figurative ornaments or brocades created on the loom, as part of the fabric. Sometimes warp and weft threads were tie-dyed and then woven, creating ikat patterns.

Ikat (in Indonesian languages means "bind") is a dyeing technique originated from Indonesia used to pattern textiles that employs resist dyeing on the yarns prior to dyeing and weaving the fabric.Sometimes threads of different colours were woven into the base fabric in patterns; an ornamented border, an elaborate pallu, and often, small repeated accents in the cloth itself. These accents are called buttis or bhuttis (spellings vary). For fancy saris, these patterns could be woven with gold or silver thread, which is called zari work.

Mulberry silk Threads
Mulberry Silk

India’s silk industry is one of the largest in the world, only second to China. India produces four varieties of silk: Mulberry, Eri, Tasar and Muga. Mulberry silk is used in the production of single Ikat silk sarees. This silk is imported from Bangalore, Karnataka.

Types of Ikat

In Warp ikat it is only the warp yarns that are dyed using the ikat technique. The weft yarns are dyed a solid colour. The ikat pattern is clearly visible in the warp yarns wound onto the loom even before the weft is woven in. Warp ikat is, amongst others, produced in Indonesia; more specifically in Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and Sumatra.

In Weft ikat it is the weaving of weft yarn that carries the dyed patterns. Therefore, the pattern only appears as the weaving proceeds. Weft ikats are much slower to weave than warp ikat because the weft yarns must be carefully adjusted after each passing of the shuttle to maintain the clarity of the design.

Double Ikat is a technique in which both warp and the weft are resist-dyed prior to weaving. Obviously it is the most difficult to make and the most expensive. Double ikat is only produced in three countries: India, Japan and Indonesia. The double ikat made in Patan, Gujarat in India is the most complicated. Called "patola," it is made using fine silk yarns and many colours. It may be patterned with a small motif that is repeated many times across the length of a six-meter sari. Sometimes the Patan double ikat is pictorial with no repeats across its length. That is, each small design element in each colour was individually tied in the warp and weft yarns. It's an extraordinary achievement in the textile arts.

Pasapali Ikat is one of the Ikat saree and Pasapali sari made in Odisha. The word Pasapalli comes from 'Pasa' which means a board game with four clear parts (much like Ludo). Each Pasapali ikat saree or material - which is made with the same technique as the Sambalpuri Ikat - has some or the other form of this chequered design.

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