This bright woven cotton tote bag is the perfect accessory to celebrate the long days of summer, and bring a bit of color to not-so-sunny days. Artisans in Bali, Indonesia, pair blue and white ikat fabric in a soft, watery pattern, with bright orange leather accents. Features an interior cell phone pocket and a zippered pocket. Zip closure.
Handcrafted in Bali, Indonesia. Leather, woven cotton, cotton lining. 19"W x 12"H x 5"D. 22" straps.
Ikat is a type of weaving where the pattern emerges according to how the warp and weft threads are dyed. The name comes from a Javanese word meaning "to tie or bind," and it refers to the process of coloring the threads. Bundles of cotton, silk, or wool are either tied or painted with wax according to predetermined patterns. When the bundles are dipped in dye, the wrapped areas resist the colorsimilar to tie-dye. The bundles may be dyed, rinsed, dried, and re-dyed multiple times.
Then, as the threads are woven, patterns emerge in precise blocks of color, or soft blended patterns. In double ikat, both the warp (vertical) and weft (horizontal) threads are dyed, a process that takes great skill and planning to envision the final textile.
Although the word has Southeast Asian origins, ikat is common in South America, too, especially among pre-Columbian indigenous cultures. Guatemala especially is known for its double-ikat woven cotton, which is often created on manual back-strap looms. Uzbekistan in Central Asia is famous for intricate silk ikat weavings that came to Europe and Japan via Silk Road traders. Because of the great time and skill involved, the most complex ikat fabrics are traditional symbols of prestige and power.