Ikat – Page 2: Planning the Warp

The ikat dyed patterns are often laid out in bands that are dyed separately then beamed onto the loom combined with other warp threads.

A warp ikat shows its pattern best if it is slightly warp faced. So plan to sett those areas slightly tighter than other plain weave areas. The ikat in the background pattern was sett at 32 EPI using an eight dent reed. The other stripes were sett at 28 EPI by threading 3-4-3-4. However this is mentioned merely as a suggestion – the same sett could have been used across the whole warp.warp threads tied around a post

The elements of the pattern are usually done on graph paper. For a starting project, try using a quarter inch width for each design element. If your pattern will have five units and your sett will be 24 EPI, then you would need to wind 120 ends. 

Plan your warp and wind it using a warping board or reel.  Attach the beginning and ending thread with a solid knot – not a slip knot.

Tie the cross using a generously long cord. Now starting at the cross end of the warp, twine a cord around groups of warp according to the number of thread that are planned for your design elements. Use a cord that will slide easily along the warp such as nylon. The  workshop samples are for a 1 inch band of 20 ends. with 4 ends per design element, there will be an opportunity for 5 elements. So the twining would be around every 4 threads.

Twine a second cord next to the first one. These two sets of twinings will be used to keep track of the design element bouts as you place the warp into the folding frame.

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