Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Resistance at Kent State 3

The third method of resist dyeing shown at Kent State Museum is ikat, a technique in which threads are bound and dyed in patterns before weaving.  As accurate as the artisans can be, there is nevertheless some characteristic raggedness around the edges of the designs.

They had a loom set up with ikat in process, also showing how the threads are tied for dyeing.

This skirt from Guatemala has ikat in both warp and weft. but the pattern is complicated by areas of plain thread, which makes sharp edges to contrast with the fuzzy-edged ikat patterns.

Some of the textiles on display had elaborate patterns, like this wrap from Indonesia (ikat on the warp only).

This robe from Uzbekistan, from the late 19th century, has ikat on its silk warp but not on the cotton weft.  The process was elaborate: wind the warp on a frame as if to weave; mark the pattern and tie the threads into bundles; dye, rinse and dry; repeat for each subsequent color.

I loved the way this Uzbek vest was finished.

 Check out this sumptuous ikat-lined man's vest from the Ottoman empire!  Seems that Islamic law forbids men to wear silk, but if you put silk in the warp only, then do a satin weave with cotton as the weft, that puts the silk on one side of the fabric and cotton on the other.  Wear the cotton side against the body and  you're mashru -- permitted.


  1. Nothing like a good mashru workaround. LOL The textiles are beautiful! Now I want to go get my loom, some cotton and some dye...

  2. Lol..loved your title, all I could think about was the "resistance" to the Vietnam War at Kent State...

  3. Lisa -- not one of our finest hours as a nation.

    Leigh -- wish I had a loom!