A major exhibition of IKAT textiles has just opened at the Brunei Gallery, in the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Organized by the World Crafts Council, this marvellous show is well worth a visit by anyone with an interest in traditional textiles.
Ikat is a technique where yarn is dyed with multiple colours prior to weaving so that patterns arise from aligning the yarn colours during the weaving process. Yarn is most commonly dyed using a tie-dye or similar resist technique. Because the production techniques are both painstaking and time consuming, Ikat textiles are among the most expensive of all fabrics. Variations on the Ikat technique can be found all around the world.
The Brunei Gallery is a beautiful venue and deserves to be much better known. It is only a 3 minute walk from the British Museum. In addition to a program of changing exhibitions, there is a permanent collection and a beautiful Japanese roof garden.The show features examples from some ten countries in the Asia-Pacific region, plus items from Latin-America, the Middle East, West Africa and Europe.
As well as the textile displays, on specific event days there are live demonstrations, a symposium and film screenings.
The gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10.30 to 17.00. Closed Sundays, Mondays and Bank holidays. Admission is free.
For more details, see the Brunei Gallery website