Ikat Table Cloth DIY

Monday, October 17, 2011


Ikat patterns are trendy and can be expensive, but because the patterns are very organic and loose, it's an easy DIY. There are endless ikat patterns to recreate, but I love Lee Jofa's Ikat de Lin in Brick and used this image for my inspiration. I used four yards of ivory linen (available at Joann's or Gray Lines Linen) and Procion MX fabric dye in Bright Scarlet.

To mix the dye (it comes in powder form), add 1/8 tsp of powder with 16 oz of cold water. This is for a very pale result. If you want a richer, deeper red closer to the colors in the inspiration fabric, double or triple the amount of powder.


Mark the center of the 60" wide fabric and then free hand paint the base design using a thick, soft paint brush.




Once the base patten was finished, mix a stronger concentration of the fabric dye in a small squeeze bottle. Use about 1/8 tsp again for only about 1 oz of cold water. Then use the squeeze bottle to add lines to the ikat pattern. The idea is for the darker lines to line up with each other as if part of the weft of the fabric. It is easiest to work from top to bottom for the straightest lines, rather that right to left.


The pattern will look more like real ikat if there are layers of dye, where everything sort of bleeds into each other. So once the lines are added with the squeeze bottle, go over the design again with the soft brush.


The entire process moves very quickly. This portion was finished in only 15 minutes:


The dye dries on the lighter side, so if you want the pattern darker, maybe try using more powder in the dye solution. You can stitch the two 2-yard pieces of DIY ikat together to make a long table cloth, but it would be just as easy to overlap the pieces on the table and call it good.


I was obviously painting pretty fast and loose here, but if you were a little more careful (and actually marked out some registration marks with tailor's chalk), you could make the pattern exact enough for a big project like curtains or a duvet cover.


PS I did a round up of really cool projects that involve fabric dye HERE.

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