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Contemporary v/s Traditional

Contemporisation of Traditional Odishi Ikat

Amrutha A A1
Student, Textile Design, National Institute of Fashion Technology, Bhubaneswar
Goutam Bar2
Assistant Professor, National Institute of Fashion Technology, Bhubaneswar


A study is carried out on the traditional ikat of Odisha for its design possibilities in creation of contemporary
products for present day lifestyle. Ikat, or Ikkat, is a dyeing technique used to pattern textiles that employs a
resist dyeing process on the warp fibres, the weft fibres, or in the rare and costly 'double ikat' both warp and
weft, prior to dyeing and weaving. Stoles are such a contemporary product that is common in modern lifestyle.
This product shows promising market potential. Techniques like warp printing, distortion effect etc are added to
enhance the contemporary look of the product.
Taking inspiration from the theme Ferns the product is designed using 2/80 s cotton yarns and viscose yarns in
simple plain weave and woven on Ashford table top handloom using a reed number 72. The theme ferns give an
idea of natural leaf motifs in the tints and shades of green which is very refreshing. The leaf motifs and colour
palette of green and purple is taken as an inspiration from the theme. Warp printing is achieved using hand
screen printing and printed using reactive dyes.

Key Word: Ikat, warp printing, distortion effect, contemporary products


A traditional craft process of Odisha ikat is explored and describes its translation of elements into
contemporary products. Ikat is a traditional form of yarn preparation that is practiced in many asian and central
and south America and north Africa. Separate cultures have developed different methods to achieve the desired
patterns following the same basic concept of ikat. In india apart from Odisha (bandha) it is practiced in
Gujarat(patola) and Andhra pradesh(pagdu bandhu,buddavasi and chitki.[1]Rosemary crill (1998) notes that the
earliest evidence of ikat in india appears in pictorial form in fifth to seventh century wall paintings of Ajanta in
deccan.visual records of ikat are are plenty in historic , aesthetic, social ,economic and cultural context of
weaving tradition of india.[3]Ikat is the Indonesian term (from the Malay mengikat to bind), and is the most
commonly heard name for the fabric in modern times. 18th century fashion enthusiasts will know the French
name, chin which specifically refers to multi-coloured warp-patterned fabric, and Pompadour silk, a later
English term for the same fabric. It gets more complicated as you add more colors. Some ikats are made by
dyeing the warp threads (the fixed threads that are attached to the loom), some by dyeing the weft threads (the
threads that are actually woven in and out of the warp threads), and some by dyeing both, a technique known as
double ikat.[2] More prosaically, Englishlanguage sources also call it by the technical description of warp
edges of the resulting designs.[4]Theikatdyeing and weaving technique goes back millenia, and was
Turkey,Yemen,andpreColumbianSouthAmerica.The technique and textiles first came to Europe via Dutch
traders in Southeast Asia, Spanish explorers in South America, and from travelers along the Silk Road, where
the Uzbek ikat centers of Samarkand and Bukhara were important stops. In 18th-century France, silk producers
seeking an exotic look manufactured an ikat known aschin la branche taffeta. Ikat continues to inspire
Western designers of both interiors and fashion
Ikat embeds both colour and image into the woven structure.Ikat is the ancient art of tie and dye of yarns to
produce a design with blurred edges.the design is intricate,requires mathematical precisionin tying .this process
of tye and dye is explored in both warp,weft or both known as warp ikat,weft ikat and double ikat.*Odisha ikat
represent the textile heritage and culture of the region.[5]Creation of ikat follows a sequential order of first
tying off the sections of warp yarns to resist dye in dyeing process . The yarns are repeatedly tied and dyed to
create a multicoloured patterns on the strand.each elements requires extensive knowledge,manual dexterity and
sophisticated aesthetic sensibility. Four to five colours are used traditionally like blue ,green red ,black and
white.This paper tells about the traditional,labour intensive ikat technique of Odisha and the contemporization
of this technique to produce products that fit into a wardrobe modern lifestyle.Ikat is emerging as a key design
statement in textiles and has made significant impact across the market. The main ikat weaving clusters of
Odisha are in sambalpur,bolangir and nuapatna. The traditional product include saree, gamcha and lungies. The
bhulia meher ,gaudia patra and asani patra are the weaving communities.Warp printing consist in printing
applied to warp yarns before they are woven into fabric adding the weft.The Warp printing produces the
"chin" effect that, with its "flamed" appearance, enriches the fabric and gives uniqueness to each piece.A
fabric with shadowy indistinct patterns produced by printing the warp threads before weaving

A printing method in which only the warp yarns are printed with a design before the fabric is woven. A hazy,
grayed effect is produced. The resulting fabric has a wavy, shadowy effect. Lt is also called shadow
printing.Ikat ,abr and chin are different names for variants of the same technique: fabric woven from yarns
which have been pre-dyed (using a resist method) or printed with the intended pattern, producing a characteristic
soft, blurred pattern once the yarns are woven into a cloth. Ikat, under the name chin, became popular in
Europe in the mid-18th century as part of the craze for Eastern designs and fabrics. The name chin literally
means Chinese in French, because of the fabrics association with China and the East. Though the first
examples probably did come from China, by the 1760s France was producing its own warp
printed chin fabrics.[6]


Creation of theme board:

Theme based designs can be created with the use of theme board. Inspiration is drawn from can the design
elements in it and Motifs and colour palette were chosen .

Layout of the product design

The layout of the stole is created by using the elements derived from the the theme board like motifs and colour

Raw materials sourcing

Weaving preparatory
Weaving preparatory include warping ,drafting and denting

Warp printing
Weaving was done in simple plain weave using ashford table top loom.

The theme chosen is Ferns .Fern, are plants of the
division Polypodiophyta. Fern species, numbering
several thousand, are found throughout the world
but are especially abundant in tropical rain forests.
The ferns and their relatives . many ferns are used
for the purpose of ornamentation because of its
diierent patterened leaves.the leaves are very
beautiful with different patterns and textures.the
tints and shades of green enhances the visual
appearace of the plant.

A theme board is created on the theme. Taking

inspiration from the theme the motifs are created.
Motifs are inspired from the patterns and textures
of ferns. Fig : 1 Theme board

Colour palette is chosen from the theme board which includes different shades of green and purple.The layout
of the stole is created by using the elements derived from the the theme board like motifs and colour palette.

Fig: 2 Motif Fig: 3 Stole Layout


Warp printing
Warp printing consist in printing applied to warp yarns before they are woven into fabric adding the weft.Screen
printing method was used to print the warp. Screen was prepared and printing was done using reactive dyes.
Motifs were printed in te centre of warp beam.

Ikat of Odisha
Dyed ikat yarns were used which was collected from khurda. Ikat is woven in plain weave using two shafts.ikat
was placed in the border in a width of 1.5 inch.

Distortion effect
Distortion effect is created in the borders to highlight the ikat portion.this effect can be achieved by missing the
dents or hields as per the design requirement.
The raw materials used were 2/80 s cotton yarns, ikat yarns , viscose yarns and reactive dyes for warp
printing.The raw materials were sourced from the weaving clusters of Khurda district. Some other accessories
like shuttle, reed, pirn are sourced from Nuapatana cluster.


The entire product was woven using simple plain weave using total eight shafts in which two shafts are used fot

woven on Ashford table top handloom using a reed

number 72 with ends per inch of 72 i.e.two yarns per
dent and one yarn per heild. Width of the stole is 18
inches selvedge on both the sidesThe stole is 72
inches in length with borders made of ikat on both the
ends.the border is 2.5 inches on both sides which
include ikat and viscose borders.therefore the size of Fig : 4 Design

the stole is 72 *18inches.

Fig : 5 Weave Design


Yarn winding
The hank yarn is winded on to the bobbin with the help
of a traditional hand charkha.

Fig : 6 Bobbin Winding


Warping is done by the help of a vertical warping drum (Ashford warping

drum). A length of 2.5 yards warp yarn is taken for warping and 1120
number of round is carried out to get a product of 72 inch length and 18
inch width.

Drafting and Denting Fig: 7 Warping

In drafting the thread is drawn through the mail eye of the heild wire. For ikat only 2 shafts (1 and 2)
are used and in border and 1 threads is passed through each heild . For
body plain design and selvedge 6 shafts are used, and one thread per heild
in body and two thread per heild in selvedge. Straight drafting is used.
In denting 72 count reed is used, for selvage 0.5 inch each side 4 thread per
dent is taken through, for body 2 thread per dent is drawn and same for
border design also 2 thread per dent is taken.

Fig: 8 Denting
Weaving is done with the help of an Ashford table top handloom which has the capacity of sixteen
shafts and a shuttle is used as a carriage of weft yarn from one side to other side of the selvage through
the shed.

Loom Description

Ashford table top handloom having a capacity of 16 shafts is a

multi shaft weaving loom is used. 24 inch width is the
maximum width capacity and heildwire capacity is 480. Reed
count of 72.

Fig :9 Ashford Table Top Handloom

Warp printing is a fabric production method which combines textile
printing and weaving to create a distinctively patterned fabric, usually in
silk. The warp threads of the fabric are printed prior to weaving to
create a softly blurred, vague pastel-colored pattern.

Screen was prepared and printing was done using reactive dyes. Fig: 10 Screen

Preparation of screen
The screen was prepared using screen stretching jags ,a photosensitive
coating is applied and exposed using the screen exposing table.

Fig: 11 Screen printing

Printing recipe

The screen is prepared .Using the prepared screen the motif is printed on to the warp using the printing paste is
prepared using the above recipe.

Fig:12 Warp Print

Finishing is any process that improves the appearance and usefulness of fabric
which is done after weaving. here curing of fabric and knotting of fringes is
adopted as finishing techniques. Curing is done at 130 degree Celsius using
hot air oven.

Knotting of fringes done on both sides to enhance the visual appearance and
aesthetics of the product.Also the protruding ends of yarns are trimmed.

Fig:13 Finished Product


Customized Production

Adoption of modern techniques along with the traditional techniques and creation of contemporary
products help in customization of production in small quantities as per the demand of the consumers.
For example similar motifs warp printing can be created in jacquard instead of printing but warp
printing enables customized production in small quantity as per the customer choice and preference.

Trend And Forecasting

Following the trend and forecasting helps to capture the interests and taste of customers

Market Potential

There is a great demand for traditional products in the market, but traditional products are of occasional
usage and cannot be used in everyday life. Therefore Contemporisation in traditional designs and
products attracts a wider range of consumers. The product has good market potential in the domestic as
well as international market.

Preservation Of Traditional Craft

Preservation of traditional craft but at the same time adding new elements or techniques helps to fit the
product into present lifestyle.


Contemporisation of traditional crafts and product development with traditional elements brings
sustainability in design
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