Ikat wallpapers

Jane Gordon Clark of Ornamenta talks to us about one of the oldest forms of textile decoration, ikat, and how the patterns inspired her new wallpaper collection.

Ikat patterns are probably one of the oldest forms of textile decoration, yet they embody a highly developed method of creating woven design.

Selective dying of the threads before weaving creates the characteristic “blurred” appearance, achieved by tightly binding hanks of thread at intervals along their length, so they will not be able to absorb the colour when dipped in dye.

The intricate patterns which result are found in different forms in many cultures around the world, from Central Asia, to Malaysia, from South America to Japan, where their opulent colours and striking designs traditionally represented status, prestige and luxury. The amount of labour and skill required to weave Ikat has meant that they have always been expensive and highly prized. Often the woven lengths are used as wall hangings or stitched together to make garments. Most familiar are the coat-style garments with tight sleeves and full skirts which show off the lustrous patterns to great effect.

Silk Ikats from Gujarat were highly prized items at the peak of the spice trade, and those from Central Asia found their way along the Silk Road to Istanbul where they were, and still are, introduced to the European market.

Often the colour combinations are thought too bold for contemporary decoration, but the patterns themselves are a refreshing alternative to the Renaissance inspired damasks or stylised florals which form the basis of many patterns.

This is the look that has inspired the Ornamenta collection of wallpapers in up to date and sophisticated versions of the original Ikat concept.

Like Ikat fabric, the wallpaper shows the distinct weave that is characteristic of this style and replicates the same depth of colour.  There are three designs in the collection, Khiva, Samakand and Bukhara, in colours that range from muted grey and soft amethyst to vibrant shades of paprika, apple and indigo. Or they can be printed to match your own swatch.

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