Ikat is a precision dyeing technique used in fabrics, a technique that requires great skill. The vertical threads, the warp, or the horizontal threads, the weft, are bound by strips of plant or plastic fiber to form the patterns for a textile, and then the tied threads are dyed. The plant fiber ties are removed in stages so the threads can be dipped in subsequent dye baths until the dyeing process is complete. After the dyed threads are dry, they are carefully woven to line up the patterns of the thread to form the cloth.
Ikat dyed fabrics were found in Chirala in Andhra Pradesh, in the beginning of this century. One of the products of this place is known as ‘Telia rumal’, a many-purpose cloth used as lungi, loin-cloth, shoulder-cloth and turban cloth, which was a popular import item in many Islamic countries.
It derived this name because of the heavy use of oil in preparing the yarn.
These techniques are still used in places such as Chirala, Pochampalli, Puttapaka and Koyyalagudem and they are known as Hyderabadi Ikats.