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The term 'ikat' comes from the Malay word 'mengikat', meaning to tie or to bind. This refers to the tie-dyeing method used to give these textiles their unque vibrancy of colour and design. Ikat has now come to refer to the textiles themselves as well as the process.

The following series of images show how Central Asian ikats are made, and are specific to current ikat production at Marghilan in Uzbekistan. The workshop there continues to use traditional inherited methods and so provides a good understanding of how ikats are produced using the warp ikat technique.

Click on the images to follow the production process:

Central Asian Ikats, a fully illustrated introduction to the magnificent ikats of Central Asia by Ruby Clark, is now available from the V&A Museum Shop (ISBN 9781851775255)

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