Ikat scarves are fast becoming the most unique and sought after fashion accessory. Each unique and hand-woven design is made by traditional craftsmen who have handed down this fine skill from father to son. Whether on a catwalk on fashion TV or advertised in fashion magazines, these stunning fashion accessories are everywhere.
The Indonesian word, ikat, which means to tie, has given its name to the unique process by which this fabric is made. The threads are bundled together and tied before dying so that the dye only reaches certain parts of the threads. This results in highly original and unique designs, colors and patterns.
Once the thread bundles are tied, they are soaked in dye and allowed to dry. Afterwards, they are secured as warp threads in the loom and as the weft threads are woven through, a unique design emerges. The whole process can take as long as three months, depending on how many colors are used.
Double ikat thread designs are even more intricate and difficult to weave. That is because the weaver also uses the tie and dye process for the weft threads. With extremely skillful fingers, he then interweaves the weft and warp threads to sync up precisely to complete a perfectly symmetrical design. Because it takes a very skilled weaver to do, this double thread design is much more expensive.
There are several ways to tell whether a design is authentic. One way is by the fact that each design in the fabric will have feathered edges which is the result of the tie-dying process. Another way to tell if what you are buying is authentic is by looking at the opposite side. Genuine woven fabrics will have the weave showing all the way through. On the other hand, printed or stamped fabrics will only show on one side.
These unique fabrics originated in a number of places around the globe, including South America. But the most sought after ones are found in Bali, Indonesia, and India. These are usually made of cotton or silk. Especially luxurious ones are found in Uzbekistan, in Central Asia, which is traditionally part of the ancient Silk Road. These are made of vintage Chinese silk and were traditionally used for brides at their weddings.
However, in contemporary times, these unique designs have become fashion accessories for both casual and formal wear. Ladies and gents alike enjoy wearing these artfully draped over a sports shirt or sweater in a casual setting. On the other hand, designs of silk are strikingly beautiful worn with an evening dress as a stole or wrap.
Ikat scarves make a unique fashion statement and can be conveniently bought online. There is no need to fly to the exotic East to make your purchases. Now with online shopping, you can easily browse through designs, fabrics and colors and make your choice easily and conveniently. Besides, prices are much lower and you are guaranteed of secure shipping that is low-cost and convenient.
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