Our New Obsession: Ikat

A few weeks back, Syita our Digital Strategist shared about tenun in Indonesia and among some of the techniques out there, there’s one that we call ikat. Forget batik for a moment, because apparently the next big thing is ikat print. Even though batik has been recognized by ¬†UNESCO as the intangible cultural heritage but the ikat print seems to be gaining its place in the heart of many international designers. The word ‘ikat’ itself seems to reflect not the technique, but rather internationally it resembles the weaving pattern usually created by the technique.¬†You can easily find ikat print clothing from different designers and even high street label nowadays.


L-R: Tory Burch, Matthew Williamson, Forever 21, Alice+Olivia, L.A.M.B & Proenza Schouler

If you’re not into too much bold print or you think, despite designers’ love for this print, you still want something simpler, why don’t you add a little bit of accessories such as scarf or bangles? I saw some ikat bangles and shoes at Oscar Lawalata’s show last year at the JFW 10/11, you might want to take a look at them. But let’s see the accessories made by the designers as shown below.


L-R: Oscar de la Renta, Kate Spade, Coach & Marc by marc Jacobs

Although internationally, you’ve seen ikat prints for a couple of seasons now, but in Indonesia it will never become out of fashion. If you want to join the ikat bandwagon, you don’t need to cash in hundreds of dollars to get a piece of it because here in Indonesia we’ve got wide selections of ikat (not just printed but actually weaved!) to choose from. The best way to get your perfect piece is to custom made them. Here are couple of tips from us:

  1. Explore your option with the various motif and colour. Try different colour combinations and be adventurous when you choose it.
  2. Choose textiles that are light so it will be easy to wear.
  3. Since the motif of ikat is already very busy, try to choose a model that is simple so it will accentuate the beauty of the textile.

If you want to wear clothing items with ikat print, make sure that you keep it simple. If you’re wearing a dress, don’t use accessories that are too heavy. When you wear a jacket, skirt or even a pants, pair it with solid colours that is in the neutral shade or black and white. Keep the ikat piece as the center of your look.