Ikat – Tying using a frame

ikat designed and woven by Phyllis Karsten

Drawing of a frame holding ikat tied warps

Ikat is essentially a tie dye process where either the warp or the weft threads are tied off before they are dyed. To be able to precisely tie off the areas the yarns have to be stretched out. Warps are stretched between two fixed objects, often trees or fence posts. But some cultures devised a method of folding those longer warps so that a repeating design need not be tied separately for each repeat.

This diagram shows the type of frame used by the weavers of the Silk Road area of the Middle East. Frank took the concept to develop the frames to be used in the Fiber Artisans Workshop meeting of May 21, 2002.

The following pages show the step-by-step way to use the frame for ikat projects.

Next: Planning the warp.

Image is from ikat cloth woven by Phyllis Karsten.