The History of Ikat & Why We Love It

Ikat throw pillows - elle decor
Image via Elle Decor

Ikat throw pillows may be a huge trend in interior design at the moment, but the popular printmaking technique actually has roots that date back hundreds of years. The process, which involves strategically tying and knotting yarn then dying it in order to form patterns, can almost be likened to tie-dye, except that the dying is done before individual threads are actually woven into fabric.

ikat throw pillows- the nester
Image via The Nester

Ikat has been traced to cultures around the world since the middle ages. Though the term Ikat itself is a Malaysian word, the technique didn’t exactly originate there. Ikat designs dating back centuries have been pinpointed in cultures from South America, to Japan and Central Asia. After being westernized by silk road traders in the 1800s, Ikat designs have remained a staple in both fashion and interior design, but there’s been an especially big resurgence over the last few years.

Given the fact that Ikat has origins around the globe, it’s not surprising that it’s become especially popular over recently, as the bohemian look and decor with an indigenous, worldly feel have both exploded in popularity.

One of our favorite parts about the print is just how versatile it is. Ikat prints can be geometric or abstract, contemporary or traditional, bold or subdued. To show just how expansive and beautiful the print can be, we’ve pulled out some our favorite Ikat throw pillows from our collection. (Click pillows to shop!)

 

Calico Ikat throw pillow blue greenIkat throw pillow

 

ikat throw pillow - cranberrydeandre ikat throw pillow red

navy ikat throw pillowJuliaca Ikat throw pillow