To Dye For
Ikat, meaning ‘to tie’ in Indonesian, is a traditional dyeing technique used to create repeated patterns in fabric. The process is one that requires much patience. Loose threads are tied to prevent dye from seeping beyond a certain point, before being untied and attached to the loom to be woven into fabric. Only one colour is applied each time, so the more colours used, the more times this tying process has to be repeated.
Legend has it that ikat was invented by a weaver who, devastated that the old king wanted to marry his beautiful daughter, sat on the banks of a stream in deep thought. The ripples and shadows on the water inspired him to create a unique pattern in his woven fabric, which was so captivating that the king forgot about the marriage.
Ikat fabrics have garnered attention the world over, spreading as far as Russia and France. Hermes’ new Voyage en Ikat collection captures this intricate pattern on fine porcelain dinnerware. Made by the renowned artisans of Limoges in France, these folk-art pieces have had 24-carat gold has hand-applied on handles, edges and rims to add a touch of luxe.