Before we see the process in detail illustrated with images, the laborious & artistic process can be summarized briefly as follows…

IKAT – is a type of weaving where the warp, weft or both are tie-dyed before weaving to create designs on the finished fabric. Great care must be taken in tying resist areas with water repellent material such as bicycle inner tubes cut into strips. The precision of the wrapping determines the clarity of the design. After wrapping, the warp threads are dyed. When finished and unwrapped, the areas under the ties have stayed the original colour. Numerous colours can be added after additional wrappings. Designs generally are worked out on graph paper. Great care must be taken in putting the warp on the loom, keeping all the threads in position is necessary for the design to work. The natural movement during weaving gives ikat designs a feathered edge which characterize this technique .

Each weaver works from home with all the family helping in different processes. Perhaps the grandmother is winding bobbins, while the wife is marking out the design on warp threads and the husband is weaving on a pit loom in the main living area. In one corner rice is being sieved and tamarind is spread out. A child wanders around and a baby is in a hammock. Life revolves around weaving

1.  Yarn widing from Hank to Bobbin


2. Preparation of Weft on Tie & Dye frame

3. Marking of Design on Weft on Tie & Dye
Frame with Charcoal/Fountain Pen Graphed design
for tie-dyeing the threads before putting on loom.

4. Dyeing with First(lightest) Colour

5. Repeat the (Tie & Dye) process for
Third/Fourth Colour as required according
to the Colour in the Design After tying the
silk threads are dyed. Then the ties are
removed revealing with designs and texture
created by the ties on the woven fabric.
This is a labour intensive craft

6. Placing of the Tie & Dye weft on Tie & Dye Frame for Rewiding

7. Winding of Tie & Dye Yarn on to Parivattam

8. Pirn Winding from parivattam for Weaving

9. The warp in Preparation for Dyeing

10. Stretching the Warp and Each Unit is Separated from the next group

11. Warp Attaching to the Reed