The story of: Mallorcan ikat

The story of: Mallorcan ikat

Slow fabric, made to last

Ikat fabric has been made in Mallorca for centuries. We explain a little about how it became the home of ikat in Europe and how the distinctive fabric is made by artisans still today.

In Mallorca, ikat fabric is know as ‘tela lengua’ or the fabric of tongues or flames.

Mallorca was a major port in the Mediterranean, hosting traders from around the world. Ikat came from eastern traders along the Silk Route, eventually ending up in Europe, particularly Italy and France. The earliest Mallorcan example dates back to the 18th century, during which time ikat was popular with wealthy homeowners, as it showed sophistication and exotic taste. After the introduction of the mechanised loom, prices lowered and its popularity grew. It remains highly emblematic of the island.

The colours of the fabrics are inspired by the island’s turquoise sea, blue sky and green olive groves.

The artisans who make the fabrics for the cushions we offer have over 100 years experience.

The process starts with prep: tightly wrapping linen/cotton blend yarns in sections, ready for hand-dying. This creates the famous ‘flame’ effect as some dye leaks under the wraps.

Once dry, the threads are arranged into the fabric pattern by hand.
Time-consuming and skilful stuff.

They are then finished into fabric on the loom and stitched into our lumbar cushions, napkins, tablecloths.