Ikat is an age-old process, in all probability one of the oldest weaves known in the modern world. Telangana is a state that has produced numerous weaves and prints for the fashion world and ikat is one of the most beautiful of them all. Its appeal lies in its simplicity that could easily fool the untrained eye into believing that it is effortless to create. It is in fact one of the most complicated styles of weaving that the rural artisans have mastered. Armed with their traditional looms and knowledge, they have managed to create stunning pieces of work that have mesmerized the world.
Sripuram, Koyalgudam and Pochampally and the nearby villages in Yadadri Bhuvanagiri district of Telangana are renowned for world-famous ikat designs and dress materials. Pochampally ikat is also known locally as “pagdu bandu”, “buddavassi” or “chitki”. The natural movement during the process of weaving gives the ikat designs a form of feathered edge, which is indeed a highlight of this technique. The brilliant color schemes and geometric designs employed in ikat make it the perfect choice for creating vibrant outfits. It is no longer limited to saris and dresses but has branched out with great success into men’s wear, beddings, accessories and even folders and files.
The tie and dye technique requires that chosen patterns and designs must be fixed before the warp and weft are colored. The threads forming the design are tied and dyed repeatedly to bring in the desired color at the right place. Interweaving of the threads produces the design on the fabric. The dyed warp and weft are spread out and woven on the loom and as the design progresses, a beautiful tapestry visualized by the weaver comes to reality. When the design is created on either the warp or weft, it is single ikat and when the tie and dye technique is applied to both, it becomes double ikat. In double ikat, the designs overlap each other, which is as complicated as it sounds. This is the reason why the double ikat technique is carried out only by master weavers (with India being a forerunner in this field). In single and double ikat, not only must the threads be positioned correctly corresponding to the design, but they also have to be secured accurately to prevent shifting, displacing or entangling. When this is done correctly, the same design appears on both sides of the fabric.