Ikats at Robert Kime
A Small & Passionate Business
What started for Robert, as a teenage trip to Turkey, has evolved as a place of interest and discovery for many years. At The Grand Bazaar, chief amongst his favourite destinations, along with other independent textile businesses, he has soaked up knowledge on his frequent journeys. Whilst travelling and discovering the colours and intricate patterns of different ikats, he knew he would find a way to bring them home. At the start, Robert did bring back some old ikat, from dealers he visited in Istanbul, but then, as supplies dwindled and the dealers started to make their own, Robert became further intrigued.
"You see, ikats aren't just patterns, they are almost a style from the place which is the melting pot of textiles, Turkey" - Robert Kime
Making new ikats wasn’t a flourishing business for these dealers, but a small and passionate one, and this drew Robert in. He was fascinated at how complicated the creative process was. Preparing the warps ready for weaving, dyeing them in either hot or cold baths to create the distinct colours that these artisans carried with them. Robert believes that once you begin to understand how carefully they were made, the final product is even more special. Today, the ikats that Robert brings to the UK evoke an authentic and real time and place. “By making my own ikats, I can connect the fabrics and how they are made, with the strength of the people who make them.” Robert surmises, in a journey documented by House & Garden
"When I started using my ikats in projects, I thought 'not too much, not too big or small'. I try to let it have the force it has and have found they lift a room so easily, suggesting something original and wonderful from the East"
- Robert Kime