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"I give my soul to the work."
— Ikat artist Rasuljon Mirzaahmedov
Ikat is the Malay-Indonesian word used for the process of textile patterning by tying and resist dyeing threads. In Uzbek, the term used is Abrbandi, which translates from Persian as “to tie a cloud”.
The traditional ikat design has been a part of ceremonial Uzbek dress for centuries, and the modern interpretation of this design allows for the scarf to be worn year round, day or night.
Traditional ikat is made of 50% natural silk and 50% natural cotton. The ancient Uzbek tradition of ikat technique consists of over 37 steps — all done by hand — and each traditional Ikat fabric takes a month to create. The scarf is made natural dyes using this traditional ikat method.
This extraordinary Crimson Sunset scarf is handmade by Rasuljon Mirzaahmedov and the artists of the Crafts Development Center in Uzbekistan.
Rasuljon and the other master weavers draw the designs on the threads and then dye them using a tie-resist dyeing method. Each color change requires removing the ties and rewrapping other sections of the yarn.
After dyeing, the master weavers transfer the warp threads to a floor loom where they are handwoven into a beautiful fabric. Slight imperfections, such as noticeable silk slubs and minor color variations, are inherent in this handwoven piece and add to its charm.
Handwoven and hand-dyed Ikat scarf by fifth-generation Master Weaver Rasuljon Mirzaahmedov
50% handwoven silk and 50% handwoven cotton
Size: 15 inches wide x 74 inches long
Care: DRY CLEAN ONLY
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Rasuljon Mirzaahmedov was born in 1972 in the Fergana Valley of Uzbekistan,which is world famous for silk production in Central Asia. He is a fifth-generation Ikat weaver whose exceptional skills were passed down from his father.
“We inherited from our ancestors this beautiful art of weaving unique patterns and color combinations," Rasulion explains. "My love of this art and the responsibility to pass it to the next generation inspires me to create new designs and produce good-quality fabrics.”
Rasuljon is one of the few authentic ikat designers left in Central Asia. He works with 25 weavers – many of whom are women – as well as a similar number of dyers who are masters of the complex tying and colouring techniques that make ikat textiles unique.
His workshop is located in a beautiful madrassa (religious school) in the city of Margilan, in the Fergana Valley, not far from the Kyrgyz border. Rasuljon has taught this ancient art worldwide, including master classes in San Francisco.
When some of the world's leading fashion designers such as Oscar de la Renta have featured ikat clothing in their collections, some of the fabrics were made by Rasuljon himself.