You say I-KAT, I say E-KAT

I first started seeing these beautiful tie-dye looking fabrics a few years ago. These beautiful Ethnic designs are called IKAT and for the longest time I pronounced them phonetically, “I-Kat”.  Much to my embarrassment, I later learned they are pronounced “E-Kat”.  Ikat is a very old method of weaving that originated in Indonesia.

Wikipedia defines IKAT as “a method of weaving that uses a resist dyeing process similar to tie-dye on either the warp or weft fibres. The dye is applied prior to the threads being woven to create the final fabric pattern or design.
Double Ikat is where both warp and the weft are resist-dyed prior to stringing on the loom. Traditionally, and still commonly, a back-strap loom is used, though any variant or modern loom may be used.


Okay, not being a weaver, I have absolutely NO idea what this means. What I DO know though is that IKAT fabrics and designs are one of 2011’s hottest trends in both fashion and in home decor. They add a punch of color and energy to a room and fit in with almost any decor.

Ikat Pillows. Photo House Beautiful


Don’t you just LOVE these red, blue and yellow drapes?

Elle Decor

and I can just picture this over-sized Ikat design on the walls of my imaginary Summer house guest bedroom.

Steven Gambrel design


Ikat patterns have become SO popular that they seem to be crawling onto everything from dishes to bags to shoes.


So now that you know what IKAT  looks like, you just have to remember how to pronounce it……E-KAT…..Oh, and one more thing…My imaginary Summer house would not be complete without this happy colored IKAT lamp.




Inda Home

So..Does your home have IKAT?



9 Responses to You say I-KAT, I say E-KAT
  1. Kelly Reply

    I didn’t know this pattern had a name, I just knew that I liked it! Great post! Thanks for sharing!

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Your welcome Kelly!! Thank you for reading!

  2. Maria Murphy Reply

    I’ve worked on a loom so I know exactly what you’re talking about. So interesting! Love the effect + colors. Thanks for the info!

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Next we see each other Maria you will have to explain it to me! Thanks for reading and commenting.

  3. Maria Murphy Reply

    I have worked on a loom. So I understand what your saying.
    So interesting + love the colors!

  4. Nicole O. Reply

    D’oh! I’ve been saying it wrong as well. Thank you for letting me know! 🙂

  5. Ella Riese Reply

    Here’s a bit more information about what ikat really is, in case anyone is interested. (info from personal knowledge- I have a BA in design (textiles and fasion)).

    As to the part where you say… “Okay, not being a weaver, I have absolutely NO idea what this means.”

    Here’s the deal:

    Ikat (“ee-kot”) is really a term describing a process of dying and weaving. The individual threads/yarn are dyed before being woven. The “warp” are the threads/yarn that were originally tied to the loom when it was woven- usually the “vertical” threads. The “weft” are the threads/yarn that are being woven into the warp, usually the horizontal. So, only woven fabrics can be real ikats (no knit fabric can be a true ikat) and most of what you see in stores is an ‘ikat looking’ design printed onto already woven fabric, because real ikat is extremely labor intensive.

    So if you look at a real ikat design, the direction of the ‘watercolor look’ tells you which threads were dyed that way. A “double ikat” had threads in both directions that were dyed before being woven, and will look ‘blurry’ or ‘watercolor-y’ in both directions, up & down as well as left & right. Remember, a woven fabric (if you look closely) will have threads that meet at 90 degree angles, a knit fabric is created differently.

    But really, almost everything you see in stores called “ikat” just refers to the design look and not the process.

    Hope that helps!

    • Linda Holt Reply

      This is so great Ella…thanks so much for this added info!

  6. Bookwormpeg Reply

    Great explanation, Ella……

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