Friday, March 13, 2009

Design Lesson: Ikat

Ikat pillow from Sheherazade.

A few weeks ago, a reader asked me what ikat is. I realized that some people, who are not design nerds, actually read my blog! I was just whisking you through some fabric and didn't even bother to explain what it was. My apologies. And now you're all subject to a little lesson in design. Ikat is "a style of weaving that uses a resist dyeing process similar to tie dye on either the warp or weft before the threads are woven to create a pattern or design." Huh. Anyway, ikat comes from southeast Asia; Thailand, Malaysia, India, Indonesia and that area. It's a very beautiful style of fabric and seems to be quite popular right now.

Micheal Smith uses ikat here in this beautiful red and white throw pillow. This is actually one of my favorite images of a room. I love the yellow contrasted with the red.


Suzanne Tucker used ikat fabric to cover this entire sofa. The color palette works well with the reds she's used here in the carpet and pillows. It also works well with the handmade baskets on the coffee table.

A large piece of ikat can be used to simply cover the seat and back of a sofa like this one designed by Moises Esquenazi.

Madeline Weinrib has an amazing line of ikat pillows, as well as many other items which I almost bought (this rug). This is her house and she uses one of her gorgeous chocolate brown pillows on the chair.

I've always loved this little sitting room by Hal Williamson. The pair of chairs flanking the fireplace are in ikat fabric and they work so well with the antique rug!

David Easton (swoon) has his own line at Lee Jofa including this ikat fabric called Westmount Wall.

Fabric this beautiful certainly deserves to be framed. I have a piece of fabric framed hanging over my bed now! From Elle Decor designed by Anne Becker.


Besides using this fabric for throw pillows, and upholstery, it can of course be used as a wall covering like here in Bob Bob Ricard Restaurant in London c/o La Dolce Vita.

Truth be told, I really love ikat but I'm going to be a total snob and say that it's on its way out as a trend because I recently saw it at Pottery Barn. I know what you're thinking: "Oh Alicia, get over it," but I must be at the CUTTING EDGE, okay?! I like it in small doses, but when it becomes a trend, I tend to back out. Thoughts? Want to get some of it for yourself? HERE is a pillow from Pottery Barn and a cute BAG from Target, or for more home accessories, Sheherazade! Another great place for affordable ikat pillows is Fabricadabra--my fave is the pink "M" shape.

REMINDER: A surprise give-away contest will be happening sometime next week! Check back for more deets.


Alicia B.

4 comments:

anusha said...

I love the way you can use this fabric to cover a larger part of the furniture. Thanks for sharing this info.

Down Comforter said...

Interesting design element - thanks for the tutorial :)

Nadia said...

Great article on ikat.

Anonymous said...

Concur with teh fact that when things go to teh commercial mainstream-- PB etc, it DOES become a turnoff!! Amen, girlfriend!-- katia from San Diego