Intricate and awe-inspiring weaving and dying technique produce a pattern that has attracted buyers for over 1,000 years. Interestingly, the ikat technique seems to have developed on its own in such far flung places as Malaysia and Central America.

The ikat weaving technique involves dying patterns into the threads before they are weaved. Threads are bundled. Sections are bound by different materials that resist absorbing dye. The threads are then dipped into dye and the bound sections "resist" the dye and create a pattern.

If you find that mind-boggling, don't worry. It is!

Here is a nice sampling of Ikat fabric assembled by Courtney Price.

Because of the skill, patience and imagination demanded by weaving ikat, the pattern has traditionally been in demand in high circles.

Most ikat rugs are not weaved, but knotted to produce pile. Hence the ikat technique is not usually applied to rugs, just ikat designs. But in very creative ways!

Ikat Blue Scherzo

Typically ikat with its all-over borderless pattern, this rug's designer had a little fun inserting the light blue feature in center right.

Ikat #3 Lt. Gold/ Multi
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Here the weaver has created three rows of distinct designs that repeat over and over. One has the feeling that the rug could go on forever.

Ikat-2 Lt. blue/lt.blue
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In each row the design elements are arranged slightly differently to created an overall chevron effect. 

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Abstract ikat! The pattern suggests ikat-style rows, but is clearly a contemporary feel. The designer has deliberately mimicked the fuzzy look, which can be seen in many ikat weavings. This happens because the dyes are allowed to "bleed" into the bound sections of the yarn threads and the fuzzy effect is called the abra. This lovely flat-weaved example has an abra look, but created more by weaving pattern than dye.

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106E's designer chose icat like design elements and blew them up so that the rug contains only a few. More ikat abstraction.

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Here one ikat element is the entire design feather of the rug. This is another flat-weave example that emulates an abra cloud.

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Ikat 300 is a very conventional hand-knotted, piie ikat. It's agreat example of how an ikat can provide the floor with a lot of interest, but still leave the designer the option of more features in the room.

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This very neutral ikat pile will support lots of color, but will supply lots of fun on its own with the two ikat design elements that look like eyes. 

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This hand-knotted example also employs the blown-up-design-elements as seen above, but supplements the look with a zig-zag pattern. Typical of ikat personality, it's busy, but does not overpower.

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