We love these ikat textiles and they are some of the best craftswomanship we’ve seen in ikat weaving in Laos. These textiles are woven to be displayed and are gorgeous.
These are woven in a small gallery in Sam Neua associated with the Nuaykeo Gallery.
What’s incredible to realize is that over 2500 knots are hand-tied to create the pattern and multiple dye baths are used. Just the tying and dyeing of the silk yarn takes three long days! And then the actual weaving takes about another three to four days, so the whole process takes about one week to produce an ikat textile of this quality.
To better understand the ikat process we’re including a description of Ikat taken from the catalog/book Weaving Tradition: Carol Cassidy and Woven Silks of Laos
. “Ikat, called mut mii in Laos, is the technique of resist-tying and dyeing a pattern in the warp or weft yarns prior to weaving. Multiple colors can be achieved by dyeing different sections in sequence, from the lightest to the darkest tones. Most Lao-Tai ikat is weft ikat, with the pattern resist-dyed in the weft threads and woven on a plain color warp. In this technique, the preparation of the yarn is more arduous than the actual weaving, requiring precise calculations prior to dyeing the yarns. A skilled ikat weaver has the ability to anticipate the final position and registration of the pattern in the cloth as she ties the threads in advance of weaving. The more numerous the knots, the smaller and tighter the bindings, the finer and more defined the resulting pattern.”