The History of Ikat
As woven fabric rarely survives for more than a few centuries it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to determine where the technique of ikat originated. It probably developed in several different locations independently. Ikat was known to be produced in several pre-Columbian Central and South American cultures.
Uyghurs call it atlas (in IPA ), and it is used only for woman's clothing. It is recorded that there were 27 types of etles during Qing occupation. Now there are only 4 types of Uyghur atlas remaining, namely Qara-atlas (Darayi, black color ones, used for older women clothing), Khoja'e-atlas (includes yellow, blue, purple colors; used for married women), Qizil-atlas (red color; used for girls) and Yarkant-atlas (Khan-atlas). Yarkant-atlas has more style; During Yarkant Khanate (16th century), it had ten different styles.
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... not impossible, to determine where the technique of ikat originated ... Ikat was known to be produced in several pre-Columbian Central and South American cultures ...
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“When the coherence of the parts of a stone, or even that composition of parts which renders it extended; when these familiar objects, I say, are so inexplicable, and contain circumstances so repugnant and contradictory; with what assurance can we decide concerning the origin of worlds, or trace their history from eternity to eternity?”
—David Hume (17111776)