Ikat and Tie-Dye

Ikat and Tie-Dye

These textiles are from India where tie-dyeing is widely used to create extraordinary designs.

In ikats, the pattern is created by weaving with pre-dyed warp or weft threads (sometimes both). Before weaving, the thread is wound in bundles and the sections to remain un-dyed are tied off with a waterproof binding. The thread is then dipped into a vat of dye. After drying, a different section of the thread can be tied off, or exposed, and the dyeing process is repeated creating bands of different colour in the thread. When these threads are then warped and woven on a loom, the patterned bands come together to create the fabric design. This can be as simple as a wave or highly complex including diamonds and animal motifs.

Bhandani is a general term applied to tie-dyed textiles that have already been woven and sections are knotted off before dyeing the cloth. There are a variety of techniques that achieve different results. On display here are leheryia tie-dye and shibori work from Rajasthan and the delicate bhandani from Gujarat.

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