The Art and Craft of the Ikat Print

Bolts of colorful ikat print fabric

As you explore Passion Lilie's collection of stylish and ethical apparel, one design that stands out is the ikat print. This vibrant and versatile pattern adds a unique touch to our garments, ranging from statement pieces to full dresses. Ikat is a technique with roots in various cultures including Peru, Guatemala, Indonesia, Uzbekistan, and more. It has been developed around the globe. Passion Lilie’s artisans make ikat prints by hand in India, and in this post, we’ll showcase the beauty and craftsmanship in their process. 

The Art of Ikat Printing

The term "ikat" originates from the Indonesian word meaning "to tie" or "to bind." Contrary to popular belief, ikat is not a printed pattern but rather a dyeing process that creates intricate designs on the fabric.

A person binds yarn to make ikat print fabricStep One: Preparing the Yarn

The process begins with laying out multiple rows of yarn, each stretched to about 10 meters, which will expand to 24 meters when woven. The number of rows depends on the desired colors in the final pattern.

Step Two: Drawing the Design

 Artisans carefully draw the intended design on the yarn, outlining the intricate patterns that will later emerge.

Step Three: Applying Rubber Bindings

Rubber bindings are then applied along the drawn lines to resist the dye. These dye-resistant bindings are crucial in creating the desired pattern, ensuring that only specific areas of the fabric are colored.

Woman works with yarn to make ikat print fabricStep Four: Dyeing Process

The yarn is dyed with the base or main color using organic or natural dyes. At Passion Lilie, we prioritize sustainable practices, avoiding harsh chemicals to protect both the environment and our customers.

Step Five: Drying in the Sun

After dyeing, the yarn is stretched out on poles in the sun to dry. Sunlight plays a vital role in the process, ensuring that the colors are set properly. Once dried, the rubber bindings are removed.

Ikat print fabric dries in the sunStep Six: Final Touches

If additional colors are required, the process is repeated from steps one to five until the desired pattern is achieved. Finally, the yarn is placed on cones and prepared for weaving on the loom.

Ikat print yarn is wound around cones before weaving


The intricate process of creating ikat prints highlights the dedication of our artisans and our commitment to sustainable practices. Each piece of Passion Lilie apparel featuring ikat print tells a story of cultural heritage, craftsmanship, and ethical fashion.

By choosing Passion Lilie, you're not just wearing a piece of clothing; you're supporting a tradition of craftsmanship and sustainability. Join us in celebrating the beauty of ikat print and ethical fashion.

Wearing the Ikat Print

Due to the care and attention to detail required by this process, each ikat print is truly one of a kind. The result of this process is fun, trendy fabrics that can be converted into a wide variety of fashionable pieces. Browse several of our top ikat print items today and expand your wardrobe! 

Calypso Coral Button Dress

Give your wardrobe a burst of color with this beautiful coral button dress. Thoughtful details like form-flattering tailoring and a tie waist make this silhouette a perfect fit. It’s made from 100% handwoven cotton and it’s perfect for nursing or pumping mothers.

Passion Lilie calypso coral button dress

Azure Wash Men’s Button Down Shirt

Organic craftsmanship meets contemporary style with this blue ikat button down. Made from 100% organic hand woven cotton, this shirt boasts a unique design featuring accents of orange and white. 

Man wears azure wash button down shirt

Denim and Teal Scarf

Who says denim is just for pants? Defy expectations in this ethically made cotton blue turquoise scarf in an ikat print, featuring tassels at the ends.

 Shades of denim and blue ikat print scarf

Ikat Print Headbands

There’s nothing quite like a stylish headband to keep your hair out of your face. Whether you’re having a bad hair day or simply want to accessorize an outfit, this ikat print headband would be a great addition to your closet.

The stylish ikat pattern on Passion Lilie's Chevron Headband makes for a great way to accessorize with an ikat print.

Learn More About the Ikat Print

If you’re curious to learn more about the ikat print and its creation process, check out our Ikat Process video. Shop our collection for more ikat print apparel and accessories, and feel free to contact Passion Lilie with any questions. We love sharing the hard work of our artisans, and we know you will, too!

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