Exhibition Program: Lesser Known Ikat Traditions

Thursday, February 29, 2024, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. EST
Detail of navy ikat tunic with stripes

Man’s tunic (agbada) (detail), Nigeria, early 20th century. David and Marita Paly Collection AFO3.


The global patterns of ikat textiles have captivated the imagination of researchers, collectors and enthusiasts around the world. For centuries, the technique has been used to create extravagant clothing and other fabrics of deep cultural meaning. The distinctively blurred, feathered or jagged patterns of ikat-dyed textiles are found everywhere from Japan to the Americas, including vast areas of Southeast Asia, India, Central Asia and the Middle East. 

In this virtual gathering, scholars and artists who contributed to the book Global Ikat: Roots and Routes of a Textile Technique examine some of the lesser-known ikat traditions, including examples from the African continent, Laos and Thailand, and new interpretations by contemporary artists.

About the Exhibition

Prized worldwide for producing vivid patterns and colors, the ancient resist-dyeing technique of ikat developed independently in communities across Asia, Africa and the Americas, where it continues to inspire artists and designers today. Irresistible: The Global Patterns of Ikat explores the global phenomenon of ikat textiles through more than 70 masterful examples from countries as diverse as Japan, Indonesia, India, Uzbekistan, Côte d'Ivoire and Guatemala. Learn more about the exhibition

Speaking Program

Introduction and moderation
Rosemary Crill, former curator, Victoria and Albert Museum

Ikat on the African Continent  
Duncan Clarke, textile dealer and author

Ikat Traditions of Thailand and Laos   
Linda McIntosh, research associate, Tracing Patterns Foundation

Ikat in Contemporary Art  
Polly Barton, artist

How to Participate

This program will take place on Zoom. To participate, please register online, and we will email you a link and instructions for joining. Simply follow that link at the time the program starts (10 a.m. EST / 7 a.m. PST). When you register, you can also request to receive a reminder email one day before the program with the link included.

Virtual Event

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