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A Poetry of Loom: Decorating your Home with Ikat

Ikat pattern fabrics

Ikat pattern fabrics

 

Having held a symbol of stature and elegance for centuries, ikat in today’s times finds itself among the highly celebrated paragons of artistry. The intricate patterns it has given to the world on its extraordinarily light fabric have carried a crafty weightage for centuries. As its artistic legacy lives on, credit’s due to the immensely skilled craftsmen and their commitment to intensely long hours of weaving. The result is, as they call it, a poetry… poetry of loom!

Ikat [pronounced e-kaht] has, to its credit a vibrant panorama of distinctive patterns and textures. Not anymore are you required to travel to the ends of the world to infuse your space with exotic flair. All you need now is a bit of ikat to bring that feeling home. 

In this blog post, allow us to take you deep into the bold, daring, and energetic essence of ikat – a 10/10 show stealer that not only makes your home look rich and ethnic, but also brings a chic vibrance to your surroundings.

The poet’s test of patience and precision: A master weaver first binds – very accurately – bundles of yarns into the required patterns. The yarns are then plunged into a dye bath to take on the desired colors. The weaver leaves the dyed yarns to sun-dry to enhance visual depth in the final product. This technique is repeated multiple times, and the result is a piece of cloth dyed in a variety of colors shaping into beautiful and elaborative prints that are bound to go with every space. The technique used in this relentless craftsmanship is called resist-dyeing, where the yarns are bind before dyeing – as opposed to traditional techniques, where the yarns are first woven into base fabrics and then dyed.  

Ikat’s signature characteristic is its apparent blurriness in the final product. This blurriness in the design adds a distinct sense of depth and movement to enhance the fabric’s visual appeal.

Call it a sheer coincidence that the ikat’s origin history is also, in a way, blurry. 

The earliest existing examples come from the 10th-century Middle East. However, ikat-like fabrics have featured in 7th-century cave paintings, and though its exact origin remains behind blurred lines, scholars believe the technique has roots throughout Asia and Africa. Of everyone, however, 19th-century Indonesia rightly claims the origin of the word – ‘Menigkat’, meaning ‘to tie’.

Now although their provenance remains subject to debate, their verve and versatility—not!

Now in the 21st century, ikat’s bohemian-inspired patterns have effortlessly entered the hearts and homes of many. Use it as curtains or blinds for a bold window treatment, or as dining placemats or a table runner – or – to add color to your cushions; such is the versatility of ikat, it effortlessly blends with your home in more-than-many ways.

And with ikat, it’s always – the more, the merrier!

There’s no denying that choosing the right pattern for your home can get a bit overwhelming. For instance, Paisley is known prominently for its steadfast traditional patterning, similar is the case is with most checks and stripes, with geometrical patterns holding a reputation of going with the contemporary. Ikat, on other hand, has had no problems in shifting between styles. 

Whether your space is traditional, preppy, beachy, or modern – ikat just fits!

The simplest way to bring a decorative sense of warmth to your room is by using ikat as curtains or window blinds, and Spiffy Spools’ vibrant collection of window draperies and roman shades is just the place to start! 

A few of our (and many designers’) favorites to get you started…

  • ‘Fresno’ – To introduce a hint of tradition into your contemporary home.
  • ‘Valle Central’ – For a stronger, more eye-catching presence to your bold interiors.
  • ‘Charta’ – For a sense of movement and depth in your drapery.
  • ‘Honeyed Fig’ – For autumnal charm to your windows. Sure to infuse a hint of excitement to your neutral decor.

Spiffy Spools also offers a wide range of customization options. Browse through our ikat collection and call for any style on your fabric of choice and in any size – we’ve got what you want!

Though ikat print draperies and window shades are Spiffy Spools’ one of many specialties, our stylists haven’t overlooked the other possibilities of introducing ikat to your decor.

Ikat bold pattern’s trajectory can be adopted in a variety of decor elements. Consider our ‘Nubian Valley’ patterned ikat, featuring a rich color palette of greens and ivory – infuse its vibrancy to your cushions and have them featured in your living room, den, or master bedroom. Plus points if you have a classic or transitional decor! You may also want to check out something like the ‘Combita’ patterned ikat to add more magic to your cushions, bolsters, and pillows. You can also pile up a mix-and-match variety of ikat patterned cushions to your outdoor chair or hammock for more visual appeal.

Ikat patterns are also a good fit to add a bit of otherworldly exotic appeal in the form of a table runner on your dining table or a rustic console. Or to instantly warm up your minimalist bedroom, have your bed runners customized in a range of Spiffy Spools’ expertly hand-picked ikat patterned collection.

Ikat patterns stand out in minimalist interiors. They serve as statement pieces against neutral decor. But if neutrals are not for you and your eclectic taste, ikat’s free-flowing patterns will ensure you live up to your maximalist vibe.

All of Spiffy Spools’ ikat-inspired patterns are printed on evocative flat-weave fabrics to give a subtle touch to your hands and offer an understated visual elegance to elevate your space. We come very close to matching the blurriness and depth of interest that reflects in the final piece of the genuine article.

On that note, allow us to leave you with a couplet from a veteran Indian-origin poet, Gulzar, admiring in astonishment, the subtle skills of his weaver friend…

“Teach me too – a trick or two, my weaver friend!
I have often seen you work the wrap,
When a thread snaps or ends,
You tie it, to some other,
And begin to weave again,
But in your weave,
No one can see the knot,
I had woven a relationship only once,
But all its knots are clearly visible, my weaver friend,
Teach me too – a trick or two, my weaver friend.”

From Piccadilly to your Homes: Packing a Punch of Paisley

It was the summer of 1967; John Lennon had his Rolls-Royce transformed into a hallucinatory gypsy caravan. 

Such was the impact of his psychedelic ‘Phantom V’ limousine that when it hit the roads of London’s posh and prominent Piccadilly, the world, especially the fashion and decor world, was brought to halt. Ornately decorated in an eclectic yellow, bedecked with colorful floral tendrils, zodiac signs on roof, and what not – Lennon’s joyride went on to cruise down the history for being one of a kind; ever was, ever will be.

While it did draw criticisms from the boomers of the times, who went on to call the limo ‘ugly, uncharming and pretentious bit of anti-taste’, not many cared. Because a few minutes of roadshow had given the retro world something to love for generations – The Paisley Pattern.

Initially, many saw the dominant paisley design on Lennon’s Rolls-Royce as some random swirl. It was after pundits took a closer look, the world started associating the retro design with paisley, or even the floral roman scrolls – however you see it! One thing is for sure, the paisley design was revolutionary, and as well evolutionary.

In the context of paisley, those random swirls heavily resonated with a curved feather, a twisted teardrop, or say a large comma; something very similar to the traditional form of paisley art. Lennon’s ride simply drove the design to another level by adding a psychedelic touch to it – a classic case of the traditional art seeing the contemporary. Result? Trip of a lifetime: Vertiginous acid-trip patterns and mind-melting colors give the decor world a sophisticated, arty bohemian theme. Very rightly, one can credit the modern-day resurgence of paisley to the summer of love!

Quite a journey, literally.

John Lennon’s ‘Phantom V’ Rolls Royce. Picture source: Rolls Royce

Paisley print design is even believed to have traveled the silk routes from East to West in the late 18th century. On the way, it got its modern name from the Scottish town of Paisley in Renfrewshire by the 19th century.

However, the story of the paisley pattern goes back much further, and its roots go much deeper. Although paisley’s origin has remained a debate for centuries, historians believe its roots lay in the humanist, life-affirming philosophy and religion of Zoroastrianism in ancient Persia, where it was known as ‘boteh’ or ‘buta’ back in 224 AD. Some beliefs note that the iconic design comes from the Cyprus tree, which the Zoroastrians symbolize with life and eternity. The eternity part perhaps rings true as this ever-beautiful, ever-popular, ever-intricate pattern has been and will always be – here to stay.

And we believe it’s time that you, too, pack a punch of paisley print at your homes; our stylists will show you just how.

  • Paisley patterns can be simple or complex, but regardless, you can’t go wrong with paisley if you want to make a strong impression. Your neutral decor will have a statement piece to flaunt in a set of vibrant paisley curtains,  if you are looking for a bold window treatment. If so, check out Spiffy Spools’ ‘LAquila’ window drapes, where geometry and floral elements come together to create a contemporary paisley pattern; magic all around! You can also make a stunning statement by introducing a vibrant paisley pattern as a bed piece. Picture a luscious paisley-patterned bed runner with different, yet coordinating colors for a bed skirt, sheets, and pillowcases; a guaranteed feast for your eyes! 
  • Our paisley window treatments are also a great fit if you are looking for an element to mix and match with other prominent patterns in your décor. The design pattern trinity of paisley, herringbone and stripes deserves a special mention as a classic favorite amongst our stylists and interior designers around the world. Here check out these charming ‘Chiaro’ roman shades from our paisley collection, featuring a smart Art Deco-inspired pattern in a white and grey color palette, all set and ready to blend with soulmate fabrics like the striped ‘Arrow Wood’ and herringbone-patterned ‘Bouloi’.  
  • ‘Hidden Harbor’ continues to be one of our most popular ‘all-over’ paisley fabrics, but we understand it is not for everyone. If ‘all-over’ paisley patterns are too busy for your aesthetic, consider ‘floating-motif’ led, block print style patterns on neutral backgrounds – such as beige and cream. Like our roman shades in a fabric-like ‘Ariano’, featuring a sophisticated color combination of burgundy, beige and teal on a soothing white backdrop to create an understated elegance. You may also consider throwing some pillows or a throw if you’re looking to incorporate just a little of the exotic paisley motif into your room.
  • Not an instantly intuitive pick, but paisley’s whimsy is a surprisingly elegant fit for a little girl’s bedroom or nursery. The ornate patterns featured in Spiffy Spools’ collection break the myth that paisleys are just suitable for formal or mature spaces. Our paisley curtains or paisley roman shades will instantly lift the spirits of your little one’s room, along with evoking a fresh, bright feeling. Check out Caserta’ – printed in hues of oceanic blues tinged with soft grays and highlighted with touches of emerald green on a white backdrop to remind your little one of summer breeze, blue skies and gentle seas; truly serene, totally soothing!
  • If you’re craving a bit of old-fashioned nostalgia, but feeling a bit commitment-phobic to go as far as curtains and roman shades, consider incorporating paisley into your kitchen or dining room in the form of our custom dining placemats in any of our paisley prints. Or if you want to make a stronger visual show of it, opt for a paisley table runner

The sentimental, nostalgic, and symbolic value of the iconic paisley motifs makes them suitable for literally any place where a symbol of life, intellect and peacefulness is a good fit. When it comes to choosing beauty or meaning, with paisley, you can simply have both. 

It’s just hard not to fall in love with paisley; Lennon did, so had his Rolls-Royce, and so did the world – and – so will you once you introduce it in your homes. As for everyone at Spiffy Spools, we literally believe in paisley prophecy! 

How to Make Roman Shades Without Breaking the Bank

One of the best ways to perfect a room’s décor and make it feel truly complete is with the right shades on the windows. Shades and curtains can make or break the mood of a room, which is why it’s so important to pick the right material, color, and style when you’re planning your décor.

(more…)

Rock the Coastal Look with Beach Curtains for Bedroom Windows

Have you embraced the coastal design trend? You aren’t alone! So many people are attracted to this light, breezy look. So how do you create this look as a DIY home decorator? Start with your window treatments and we think the best place to begin experimenting with this look is your bedroom. 

(more…)

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