Ekkat is an extremely versatile pattern of dyeing. You can use an Ekkat fabric in almost anything from a handbag to a skirt to a shrug. It looks gorgeous and has a traditional yet contemporary appeal to it. In Kolkata, traditional saree with Ekkat pattern has high demand. Not only saree but people here also use Ekkat shrugs and tops to mix and match. We make them here; bring them from Odisha, etc. Let’s just say that we can’t get enough of it. So, let’s find out the various types of Ekkat that are available in the market.
Types of Ekkat
Lengthwise or longitudinal yarns of fabric are referred to as warp yarns. In warp Ikat, the warp yarns of the fabric are dyed with this Ikat technique. The yarn is dyed using a solid color. Before weaving the fabric, the entire Ikat pattern is visible through warp yarns. In other words, Warp Ikat gives an overall look at the required Ikat pattern with plain weft yarns. Indonesia is famous for producing this type of Ekkat. You can also find them in many Kolkata Handicraft Fairs.
A weft is the vertical set of yarns running along the fabric is called weft Ekkat. The yarns in this technique are dyed in solid color. In this method, the weaving or the weft yarns carry the dyed patterns. We can only see the pattern once the weaving proceeds. This technique requires a lot more time than the Wrap technique. Slow weaving helps in maintaining the clarity of the design.
In this Ekkat, the weavers resist-dye both warp and weft yarns before the process of weaving. Double Ekkat is the most difficult technique among all three and also takes the most time. This makes it very expensive. In other words, only highly skilled labors can do it. To sum it up, Double Ikat fabric is famous for its fine finish and exotic patterns. India, Japan and Indonesia produces the finest double Ekkat.
Pasapalli Ikat is a kind of Ekkat saree and we can find it in Odisha. Interestingly, that the word Pasapalli coes from ‘Pasa’ which means a board game with four clear parts (much like Ludo). Like Sambalpuri Ekkat, Pasapalli Ekkat has some form of chequered design.
How to wear an Ekkat Saree or other items
As we have stated earlier that Ekkat is a very versatile fabric. In other words, you can use it to make almost anything. Listed below are a few of our favorite choices.
Ekkat silk saree- Classic yet trendy. Given its rich pattern, one should pair it with a solid colored high neck blouse.
Pleated Ekkat skirt- They would look lovely with a silk top and nude heels.
Ekkat gown- Who doesn’t love a big, flowy and bright Ekkat gown. For instance, pair them with some oxidized jewelry and you have a new look. Few shops are selling a delicate collection of oxidized jewellery in Kolkata.
Bags and Purses- Want to funk it up. Carry a trendy Ekkat bag with your favorite jeans and top to give it a new look.
Ekkat is truly a beautiful fabric. Therefore, we are lucky that we don’t have to look very far for them. Odisha has a fine line of production of Ekkat. Lucky us!