Ikat, unlike some other tie-and-dye practices, is not done on fabric, but on threads. Tie and dye of yarn has been practised in several parts of the world for centuries, but only in India, Indonesia and Japan is double Ikat (both of warp and weft) widely practised.
Double Ikat is among the most complex weaving techniques in the world. It can take two artisans about 20 days to produce one sari. The skill and time required for Ikat work has traditionally accorded the craft an elevated status in society.
The Ikat weaving styles and motifs vary widely from region to region and hence are easily distinguishable. Rajasthan, Gujarat, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh are the States in India, where Ikat is practiced on a notable scale.
Double Ikat of Gujarat called Patola, done on silk, is extremely popular as are the intricate works from Pochampalli in the south.