Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 15, Tuesday, October 5, 2004




Textiles With a Twist

TAKE a cue from nature, where all is in harmony. Varied textures, especially those from outdoors, shape a soothing space and infuse it with interest. Sometimes texture can suggest temperature: smooth and soft textures give a cool impression; shiny and raised textures convey a sense of warmth. Use these attributes to create different effects. Displays combining fabrics or finishes of very different temperatures can be visually engaging; using textures of similar temperatures brings a sense of quiet harmony to a room.

The woven textiles of Southeast Asia are known generically as Ikat, from the Malay word for "to tie" or "to bind". This refers to the technique of binding the treads before dyeing, in order to produce elaborate designs in the weave. Older, traditional Ikat comes in a subtle variety of colours from natural dyes made from flowers, trees, roots, berries and even insects' newer and mass-produced Ikat's reflect the range for commercial dyes available, from bold neon's to shy pastels. Old or new, Ikat may be made of natural fibers such as cotton, linen or silk, or synthetic yarns-and each may take months to complete.

Ikat comes in all shapes and sizes, from items for daily use, to shawls, blankets and wall hangings used at ritual events and life-cycle festivities. Some are exchanged as a type of bride price, some are used to wrap the sick or the vulnerable, especially during rites of passage such as tooth-filing, circumcision, birth, marriage or death.

The world of nature is reflected in representations of birds, horses and riders, deer, elephants, buffalo-which are often also seen as couriers of the human spirit to the after-life. Fertility symbols, symbols of power, protective inscriptions in Arabic script, all can form part of the glorious kaleidoscope of colour and design that is Ikat. Ikat is available in greater Southeast Asia. India, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia and Bangladesh also have this glamourous fabric weaving. Ikat is historically one of India's most successful exports to Asia. Orissa and Gujarat are the heart place of Ikat.

Put to imaginative use, everyday materials can become provocative additions. Soft accessories: Pillows, throws, and other soft accessories encourage you to settle in and stay awhile. Choose colors and textures that complement your living room's existing furniture, upholstery, and slipcovers. Try to use local handloom, khoddor, silk, motka, batik print, Muslim or may be Ikat. You can easily change soft accessories to add accents of color and texture to a room. Ikat can be hung on a wall, thrown across a favorite chair or used to curl up in while you dream of exotic destinations. Thinner pieces make delightful curtains, table runners or tablecloths, and thicker pieces can be used as a unique throw rug. Fabric is a key-point of a residence interior. Our focus is, how can we use Ikat-a gorgeous traditional texture in our residence.

How to dress a sofa, center table, bed and wall covering: Use throws and pillows in different textures and colors to transform your sofa. Changing a sofa's soft accessories is a quick and easy way to change the whole atmosphere of a living room. Warm up the room; we can use heavier textures-Ikat printed fabric in our sofa set and a refreshing blind of brightly colour Ikat-pillows cushions. Fabrics in neutral colors can work year-round; whites and creams can be dressed up or down in almost any surrounding. Mix the sizes, materials, and shapes of pillows and throws to reinvent the look of your living room as the mood strikes you.

A simple center table can turn eye-catching when Malaysian shawls are used as a covering top. Orissa Ikat printed bed covers come in a wealth of patterns and colours. They can easily turn your room bright and welcoming. Comilla's Ikat printed saris are lovely, bright and smart looking. These local textiles in gorgeous combinations of shades of red and black can be ideal as wall coverings, lending a dramatic view to an ordinary window.

So use the Ikat and your imagination, and add a little razzle-dazzle to your rooms!

By Nazneen Haque Mimi
Interior Consultant,
For further details, contact: Journeym@citechco.net
Photo Credit: Hasan Saifuddin Chandan



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