India | Orissa

Ikat Silk Sarees

Orissa is famous for its unique Ikat Silk sarees. Ikat is a process of creating patterns on the yarn used for weaving, by tying and dyeing it. The silk used in the weaving is locally produced. These sarees have an extraordinary metallic finish. The borders feature heavy embroidery, while the ‘pallu’ (falling edge of the saree) contains geometric patterns created with ikat dyeing. The centuries old weaving process for the Ikat Silk sarees is complicated. The tools are of primitive nature. The outlines of the designs are traced on a paper for the weaver’s reference. Based on these outlines, the yarn threads are laid down in the required length. Knots are made on specific points of the threads, to form dye resists, according to the patterns. The threads are dyed, along with the knots, in single or multiple colors. The knotted sections of the threads are not affected by the dye. This gives rise to the required color combination on the yarn. Following the removal of knots, the yarn is attached to the spools of the loom and the cloth is woven. The multicolored yarn gives rise to beautiful patterns on the cloth.

Updated on 7th June, 2005

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