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Originally called chapans in Uzbekistan, these outerwear protect against evil eye. Their vibrant colours and rich patterns both on the outside and inside lining are intended to distract the evil eye from directly looking into our eyes.
Uzbek Ikat fabrics are an distinctive feature of the culture in Uzbekistan. Brought by nomad traders stopping along the silk route, it became a luxurious fabrics reserved for royalty and the upper-class. Today, only a few families have continued the original method of ikat making and pursued the production after Uzbekistan’s independence.
Patterns are invented by masters based on their memory to create a unique design. The silk threads are laid out on a 2x2 meter frame and using small dots, the master draws the patterns. Each dot is a note to indicate the different colours of the design. The Uzbek fabric is then dyed, one colour at a time. A process which can take as long as two months to complete.
Once the Abrebant, the original name for Ikat pattern has been dyed, weaving takes place. For pure silk fabrics, the weaving method requires eight pedals, following a precise rhythm: One foot presses pedal 1, the other simultaneously pedal 8, then pedal 7 and 2, pedal 6 and 3, pedal 5 and 4 and the same rhythm is repeated from pedal 5 and 4 all the way
to pedal 8 and 1.
The length of every Ikat fabric is 2m20 and is marked by a separation called ‘rapport’. This not only proves that the fabric is entirely handmade and handwoven but also that ikat patterns in fact represent an algorithm.