Ikkat printing is an elaborate dyeing process done with silk or a cotton fabric that has its origins in Odisha. It is a ‘resist dyeing’ technique where the threads used for weaving are dyed beforehand.
The Ikkat threads are bound in a pattern so that the threads covered by the binding “resist” the dye, creating a design. The more binding done before weaving, the more complicated the pattern. The end result is a piece of cloth bathed and glittered in colorful patterns.
In Gujarat, it took root in Patan and hence the term “Patan Patola” is given to it. The basic difference between the double Ikat weaves of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and the Patola of Gujarat is that the Patola uses eight-ply silk while the imitations do not.