Mat Mi (Ikat) Techniques

Mat Mi (Ikat) Techniques

Mat Mi is a process of wrapping-to-pattern whereby parts of the yarn are tied to create a resist pattern when dipped into the dye, before the weaving is started.  After the yarn has been dyed the Laotian women wind it onto spools and use it to weave a weft pattern into a plain colored warp.  This is called weft ikat and is a decorative technique common in the Southern part of Laos.

There are two basic structures for Mat Mi; they are known as Mi Luat and Mi Luang. Mi Luat is a solid ikat woven with only patterned (rather than solid colored) yarns that have been tied to give dense lines in the finished pattern.  Mi Luang, on the other hand, appears to be arranged in dots so that the design itself looked less dense.  This latter type can be made by either tying the yarns in a pattern made up of numerous dots or it can be woven by alternating plain yarns with Mat Mi dyed yarns to separate the solid Mat Mi pattern.


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