How to Glamorize Brunschwig & Fils Ikat Fabrics with Aubusson Rugs

Oscar de la Renta was the first fashion designer to introduce Ikat dresses on fashion runways in 2005, and ever since then he has demonstrated his love for Ikats by working directly with Ikat weavers in Uzbeksitan (see video). So when I was looking for confirmation for the idea of pairing Brunschwig & Fils Ikat fabrics with a floral Aubusson rug, I researched de la Renta’s Fall 2013 Ready to Wear Collection and was very pleased to find that he had combined geometric and floral Ikat patterns in a fabulous dress. Oscar de la Renta had done exactly what Asmara designer Alexis McDermott did when she paired Brunschwig & Fils geometric Ikat fabrics with a floral Aubusson rug featured in today’s post. Geometric Ikat fabrics have a naturalistic and comfortable look that contrasts with the refined curves of a floral Aubusson rug. The combination of two such contrasting looks makes a room feel glamorous and comfortable at the same time. It is the interior design equivalent of wearing blue jeans with a silk top. When this is done well, the result is both chic and comfortable. On the opposite end of the spectrum are rooms that look boring because everything is of the same style and from the same design period. Interior designer Cindy Rinfret calls this type of decorating “embassy style decorating.”

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Oscar de la Renta Fall 2013 Ready to Wear Ikat dress combines geometric and floral Ikat patterns. Image courtesy

Watch Oscar de la Renta express his enthusiasm for Ikat fabrics:

This video of an Ikat exhibition at an Australian museum explains the various types of Ikat patterns over 1500 years of evolution.

Here is Alexis McDermott’s pairing of Brunschwig & Fils Ikat fabric with a floral Aubusson rug.

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Top Fabrics: Pillow Fabrics: Charlecote Space Dyed Texture, color Leaf BR-89769-432 & Gabrielle Rope on Tape, color Yellow/Multi BR-30297-M33, Viceroy Strie, color Oxford Blue BR-89732-244 & Chancellor Strie, color Oxford Blue BR-89730-244, Exchequer Cotton Check, color Sunflower BR-89725-345 & Belluno Cord with Flyer, color Sunflower BR-39104-345, Chancellor Strie, color Coral BR-89730-634, Nizan Cotton Print, color Ecru BR-79329-010 & Chancellor Strie, color Pineapple BR-89730-300, Uzbek Linen and Cotton Print, color Poppy/Green/Coral BR-79786-143 & Chancellor Strie, color Pompeian Red BR-89730-147

Below Aubusson Rug: Summer floral Aubusson Rug depicting a canopy of flowering trees in yellow, red, green, beige and brown on a cream background.

How Ikat Fabrics and Rugs Are Made

Unlike printed fabrics the pattern of weft dyed Ikat fabrics is formed by dyeing the weft yarns in such a way that when they are woven into a fabric the pattern emerges in the woven fabric. Resist bindings are applied to un-dyed yarn in a pattern so that the yarn takes the dye only in the areas that remain uncovered. When these yarns are woven into a fabric the pattern emerges in the fabric. This type of Ikat fabric is called a weft dyed Ikat. There are also Ikats in which the pattern is dyed on the warps and then there Ikats where the pattern is dyed on both the warp and the weft. As you can imagine, it requires a great deal of skill to weave these different kinds of Ikat fabrics, all of which are woven by hand.

silk threads tied for dyeing copy resized 600Sections of silk yarns were covered up in the right places so they did not absorb the dye. The pattern will emerge as these yarns are woven into an Ikat fabric. Image courtesy

ikat collage for web resized 600

Left: Blue and white silk yarns are ready for weaving into an Ikat fabric. Right: A blue and white geometric pattern with irregular edges emerges as the yarns are woven into a fabric on the hand loom. Image courtesy

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Timur Needlepoint Rug in a Ikat pattern in several shades of green, yellow and blue. The Ikat pattern in a needlepoint rug is created by with handmade needlepoint stitches in yarns of different colors. The motifs have been given irregular edges to simulate an Ikat pattern. Rug Design © Asmara, Inc.

Ikat fabrics have been made for thousands of years in places that are as far removed geographically as South America, Indonesia,




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