Ikat in Interior Design: Elevating Spaces with Global Ikat Patterns

Ikat textiles are made around the world, including Indonesia, Japan, and Guatemala. Bring these beautiful designs into your space to add a unique style.

Our ikat collection comes from Guatemala

What Exactly is Ikat?

Ikat (pronounced ee-kaht) is a precise dyeing technique that can create a distinct pattern in a textile. The weaver resist dyes sections of the yarn by tightly knotting individual yarns in the desired patterns. After dyeing the yarn, the knots are taken out, and the yarn is ready to be used in the weaving. The results are a beautifully patterned textile with a lightly blurred effect.

Understanding the Appeal of Ikat

The Craftsmanship

Ikat is celebrated for its meticulous technique, vibrant colors, and intricate patterns. The design is drawn out first, as the set up on the loom will impact the final patterned design. Because the yarn is dyed prior to weaving, it's important to measure the yarn carefully.

After knotting the yarn in the pattern, the yarn is dyed. The dyer can dip the yarn in different dye colors, and can alter the knots to create layered patterns. After the yarn is dyed, and the knots are removed, the weaver will set up the loom according to the type of ikat she will create:

Warp Ikat

The warp threads, or the yarn that goes up and down on the loom, are resist dyed using the knot method. Once they are dyed, the weaver carefully sets up the dyed yarn on the loom.

Weft Ikat

The weft threads, or the yarn that goes back and forth as the artisan weaves, are resist dyed prior to weaving. Since the weft does not stay in one place like the warp, this is a significantly more difficult method that takes much more precise planning and measurement. The results is a more blurred effect than warp ikat.

Double Ikat

This is the most difficult and rare method of ikat. Both the warp and weft are resist-dyed before weaving.

The Universality of Ikat Patterns

Ikat's universal appeal lies in its ability to seamlessly integrate into various design aesthetics. From bohemian to minimalist, the versatility of Ikat patterns allows them to be utilized across different elements in your home.

Transformative Power of Ikat in Various Design Elements


Ikat patterns on upholstered furniture bring a touch of sophistication to your living space. Consider an Ikat-patterned armchair or sofa for an elegant and eye-catching focal point.

Curtains and Drapes

Dress your windows with Ikat's unique flair. Curtains and drapes featuring Ikat patterns add texture and visual interest to any room while allowing for flexibility in color coordination.

Throw Pillows, Throw Blankets, Cushions, and Bedspreads

Introduce Ikat through throw pillows, cushions, blankets and bedspreads. Mix and match different Ikat patterns for an eclectic and cozy atmosphere in your living room or bedroom.

Rugs and Carpets

Ikat designs on rugs create a striking foundation for your space. Whether it's a vibrant Ikat rug in the living room or a subtler pattern in the bedroom, this versatile element adds warmth and character.

Table Linens and Napery

Elevate your dining experience with Ikat-patterned tablecloths, placemats, and napkins. This adds a touch of global elegance to your meals, creating a memorable dining atmosphere.

Where in Your Home to Add Ikat Patterns

Outdoor Spaces

Extend the allure of Ikat to your outdoor spaces. Use Ikat-patterned cushions, rugs, or even umbrellas to infuse a cultural touch into your patio or garden.


Besides bedspreads, incorporate Ikat through other elements like curtains, throw pillows, or an upholstered headboard for a cohesive and visually appealing bedroom.

Living Room

Besides bedspreads, incorporate Ikat through other elements like curtains, throw pillows, or an upholstered headboard for a cohesive and visually appealing bedroom.


Bring Ikat into your kitchen with patterned tea towels, table runners, or even ceramic dishes featuring Ikat designs. This adds a subtle yet impactful touch to your culinary haven.

Finding Authentic Ikat Patterns

When seeking authentic Ikat patterns from around the world, explore businesses that practice fair trade or work directly with artisans who specialize in traditional craftsmanship. At Elma Exchange, we partner with artisans, or collectives of artisans, directly. We ensure that your purchases contributes to the preservation of diverse cultural traditions.

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