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Ikkat or Ilkal? #AtoZChallenge 2017


Image of The last of my Ilkal sarisage of

Can you believe this sari is over 40 years old?


When I was in college I loved wearing my Ilkal sari with its deep earthy colour. Of course at that time I didn’t know it was called Ilkal nor did I know where it came from. I just loved the soft feel of the cotton that clung to me.

Today I have just one left in my cupboard. Unlike the red and white silk pallu that is commonly found in the Ilkal, this one has plain thick bands .

The border and pallu are woven separately and attached to the main body of the sari with a loop stitch technique.

Made in Northern Karnataka, the Ilkal saris perfectly complement our skin tones with their strong, bold colours.

Unfortunately I don’t have any left in my cupboard and will have to search the net for illustrations.


Ikkats which are found in far reaching places like Indonesia, South America and even Spain, have their origins in the Cave Temples of Ajanta! I found out all these interesting facts while researching these fabrics.

Here the warp and weft threads are dyed in beautiful colours before weaving.The pattern that emerges is a subtle mingling of pastel shades and bright contrasting colours.

IKKAT fabrics are ideal for curtains, Upholstery and cushion

I also found this You Tube video uploaded by Sandeep Sangaru that best explains and illustrates the tradition of Ikkat from Gujerat. These saris are undoubtedly time consuming and expensive but believe you me, they are totally worth it.

[Tweet “Ikkat is a process of resist dyeing the yarn before weaving in order to make an intricately formed pattern. “]

Ikkat from Odisha and Telengana

The other Ikkats are from Odisha and Telengana. The Ikkats from Odisha and Telengana are made from cotton as well as silk fibres. They are also made Ikkat from Odisha is slightly different. These are normally made from pure cotton.

Image for Ikkat

Image for Ikkat from Sambalpur Odisha

And finally the Ikkat from Telanga which is also known as Pochampally, the town from which it originates.

Image for Ikkat from Telengana

Aren’t these weaves simply stunning? 

I hope you are enjoying this brief introduction to our textile traditions. It may seem that all that we weave is worn as a sari but of course that’s not true. Sadly, the sari itself is slowly being moved to the back of our wardrobes and only worn during special occasions…….

Disclaimer : I am neither a textile manufacturer nor a historian . I am just passionate about textiles and fabrics. I have gathered all my information from the Internet. Please excuse any errors and omissions.

Join me and hundreds of other bloggers participating in the #AtoZ Challenge 2017

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A granny who always sees the humour in life and tries to do things differently. When others make cupcakes, this granny makes banana fritters. When she’s not busy chasing her grandchildren who love making her run around, she indulges in her passions of reading, writing, meeting friends and watching movies. And somewhere between all this she enjoys travelling and cooking!

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33 Responses

  1. Oh I love my Ikaats too. The Ilkal is something new for me and I am still yearning for a Pochampally – will update my collection when I am next down south!

    Loving your textile weaves – Keep going!! 🙂

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  2. Vicki Maheu says:

    Such pretty colors! I’ve always loved the styles of India! Such bold colors make me happy.

  3. Dipanwita says:

    Liked the pochampally one the most. But I am sure all other variations of ikkat are great to experience. These cotton sarees give relief from heat. I remember my mom has couple of these cotton sarees.

  4. Lata Sunil says:

    I love these Ikkats but I did not know they were called so. Especially, the Karnataka Ikkat is a fave.
    Lata Sunil recently posted…Book Blitz : Finding the Angel by Rubina RameshMy Profile

  5. It is so fascinating to know about them buddy. I love saris and am intrigued my how many types of them actually exist.
    Truly Yours Roma

  6. Shalini R says:

    Ilkal for me! Mamma has got a huge collection of Ilkal sarees 🙂
    Shalini R recently posted…Idli BatterMy Profile

  7. I love the riot of colors that make up an Ikat print. I rarely wear sarees and it’s a pity as no outfit compares to wearing one right 🙂

  8. bushra says:

    Ikat fabric is very simple yet classic love ikkat sarees a lot
    Interesting post, enjoyed a lot
    Thanks for sharing
    Dr Bushra
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  9. Eva says:

    These colours are fascinating. I have never worn a sari. I’m afraid I wouldn’t know how to do so!

    EvaMail Adventures

  10. Kaddu says:

    Oh! My mom loved wearing both these styles. I still have most of her collection with me. I had no idea they actually had names! She used to wear more of Ilkal though. All lovely bright colors!
    Happy AtoZing!
    Chicky @ http://www.mysteriouskaddu.com
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  11. Usha says:

    Thanks for sharing this inform. It is good to know about different types of Ikkat. In Telangana, Ikkat sarees became very popular in last 3-4 years and always wondered how the print is similar to pochampally sarees which around for some time. You cleared some of my confusion. Ikkat silk saree is on my to buy list.

    A-Z Challenger
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  12. Neha says:

    Lovely saree! I always eanted to have an Ilkal as it looks so perfect for a formal outing.
    Neha recently posted…Intrigued – A story of loveMy Profile

  13. Both of them are so pretty! I have a few Ilkal ones, I’d like to buy Ikkat too.

    Shubhangi @ The Little Princess
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  14. Shilpa Garg says:

    You have a 40 year old sari!! Wow!!
    I like the combination of colours in Ilkal. Is it handwoven?
    Shilpa Garg recently posted…Inhumane #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2ZMy Profile

  15. Geets says:

    I think I’ve seen this fabric but never knew its name. Well, now I know 🙂

    Geets recently posted…I- IdentityMy Profile

  16. Vidya Sury says:

    Love ikkat print! No ilkal saris though. The ikkat look is versatile and is used in just about anything these days, from saris to dress materials to accessories to bed and table linen. Looks fabulous. And the color combos are fantastic.

    Would love to see a pic of you in your ilkal sari!
    Vidya Sury recently posted…Intentional Living #AtoZChallengeMy Profile

  17. Aren’t these just perfect to put on a summer..I totally loved the colours..Have made dresses and frocks for the daughter too…It is totally soft and nice to use after every wash

    Launching SIM Organics This April
    *Menaka Bharathi *
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  18. Dahlia says:

    Love Ikkat, patola – I didnt know they were related 😀 I have recently graduated to wearing saris, i have so many all crying out for an airing 😀

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