IKATS OF THE WORLD: CAMBODIA!

It's #textiletuesday and time for another installment of Ikats around the world! This week we are heading to Cambodia to see the beautiful silk weavings famous for their beautiful colors and intricate patterns. 

 

From the IKTT:

"Cambodian Ikat has survived since the times of the Angkor Dynasty. Carved into the temples of Angkor Thom you can see figures in the traditional Cambodian costume. It is this centuries old tradition that brings its craft such quality, that and Cambodia’s unique natural environment.

 

Cambodia's land mass is mainly flat with both the Tonle Sap lake and the Mekong river as it's main water supply. It's abundant water resource means it has always been a rich and fertile land, before the war Khmer people enjoyed a self sufficient lifestyle and agriculture flourished. Consequently weaving and sericulture has always been a central part of rural life. 

 

Ikat is a technique seen practiced by many world cultures from South America throughout much of Asia. Before the fabric is woven bundles of thread are tightly bound into designs, they are then dyed. Dependent on the complexity of the design these bundles may be tied and dyed at multiply intervals and in various colours. Once the dye process is over the thread is then woven into cloth.

 

Cambodian Ikat is a weft Ikat woven using a multi shaft loom. It has an uneven twill weave meaning the weft threads are more visible on the front side of the fabric. The most complex Khmer Ikat is that of the Pedan.

 

The Pedan is a fabric woven traditionally as a wall hanging for religious ceremonies. The most refined of which show no repetition at all and are a true testament to the skill of a Khmer weaver. They show various motifs, typically with Buddhist connotations such as temples, asparas, buddas, elephants, lions and nagas.

 

Ikat silks are worn by men and women, the men wearing the Sampot Hol Kaban and the women the Sampot Hol, Sampot meaning wrapping skirt and Hol meaning Ikat. It has been said that the Sampot hols can have more than 200 motifs all memorised from the hand. "

We enjoyed the video by master weaver, Kikuo Morimoto. Morimoto moved from Japan to Cambodia with the ambition of reviving the storied weaving culture which was decimated during the Khmer Rouge. With Morimotos help, the culture of Cambodian weaving is beginning to flourish again. 

We have included an array of process photos of the weaving dying and final products of Cambodian okays or "hols". AtKhazana we have a collection of old ikat to study as well as new scarves and wearable Cambodian ikat for purchase. The magic of ikat is how it has come to be in different parts of the world at almost the same moment in time, ages ago. Ikat is is one of the oldest forms of weaving and was often traded like other fine goods such as gold and spices.

"The Cambodian ikat is a weft ikat woven of silk on a multi-shaft loom with an uneven twill weave, which results in the weft threads showing more prominently on the front of the fabric than the back.

By the 19th century, Cambodian ikat was considered among the finest textiles of the world. When the King of Thailand came to the US in 1856, he brought as a gift for President Franklin Pierce fine Cambodian ikat cloth.[15] The most intricately patterned of the Cambodian fabrics are the sampot hol—skirts worn by the women—and the pidans—wall hangings used to decorate the pagoda or the home for special ceremonies." ( Wiki)

Please enjoy these photos and do click the links below for further study.

Have you been to Cambodia and seen these weavers for yourself? Please do share with us!

http://www.ikttearth.org/#!what-is-khmer-ikatt/criq

http://mag.artisansdangkor.com/the-ikat-technique-an-ancient-tradition-of-weaving-giving-a-unique-result.html

http://blog.wanderingsilk.org/tag/khmer/

Anju Kataria