The ikat is a special dyeing technique achieved by binding the sections of thread before weaving to give the fabric a certain pattern. The ikat fabric is very popular in Southeast and Central Asia, Africa, and Latin America. But today, we’re going to show you the ikat silk weaving in Surin, Thailand. In this area, people use silk garments dyed and woven by the ikat technique. Such a cloth is especially culturally valuable because of the amount of work and skill needed to hand-produce it.
Traditional Thai designs are woven into silk fabric on the loom rather than stamped onto already woven fabric. The strands of silk are variably dyed in a way that permits the design to appear as the shuttle passes across the loom. The traditional design develops as the cloth is woven.
The ikat method of binding sections of silk threads in a specific pattern prior to dyeing results in only specific sections of the thread receiving the dye color. The bound sections do not receive the coloring. The intended design for the fabric can be seen as the silk strands are bound. The ikat method requires very skilled artisans to bind the silk in the design patterns.
When the binding is removed from the dyed silk, the silk can be wound on special spools and placed in hand shovels.
The ikat method requires close coordination among skilled binders, skilled dyers, and skilled weavers.
Obviously, great dexterity is required.
Returning to the weaving process, if you look closely, you can see the dyed and undyed sections of the silk strand being woven to make the traditional design. The specific design is achieved with only a little adjusting by the actual weaver.