Ikat: An Easy Method for Dying

I've been dying to try some ikat on my inkle loom, but the idea of typing all those pattern warp--or rather the time involved--kept delaying my experiment.

I was talking to Catriona's husband Osric about weaving and such, and on the way home I had a brainstorm. Here is an idea for doing Ikat trim with the minimal amount of tying.

Measure your warp and add at least two feet. Cut your pieces to length and tie each end of your warp bundle to something to stretch it tight. I usually use two chairs or clamp a C-clamp or pony clip to two tables placed the required distance apart. For this example we will only use two colors: the original color of the warp, and the color we dye the unwrapped portion.

Using wrapping material described in Catriona's article, wrap the warp bundle for one inch. Skip the next inch, and wrap the following one (Fig. 1). When you are finished, remove the bundle carefully and dye as above. Once the thread is dyed, rinsed and dried, remove the wrapping. You will have a striped warp (Fig. 2).

Now for the pattern. Our first pattern will look like this: (Fig. 3). To do this you will align the colored sections of the warp to form the patterns as you attach them to the loom. I know it sounds weird, but look at Figure 4. The reason you cut so much extra warp is to give you room to "arrange" the dyed sections in a pattern. I’m sure you can think of several other patterns you can to with this same dying scheme. Here are a few of mine...

By varying the length of the wrapped sections and the unwrapped sections and by wrapping some sections and dying a third and/or fourth time or more, you can do all sorts of things! Let us know you tried.








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