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Dazzling Colors of The Oasis in Houston


Colors of the Oasis: Central Asian Ikats is a stunning exhibit that is currently at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. The collection will be in Houston through June 4 and is a must see for those attending CHT Biennial Conference Crossing Threads, Connecting Cultures May 31 – June 4. This collection is on loan from the Textile Museum in Washington DC.

The ikat textiles on display—including robes for men and women, dresses, trousers, and hangings—feature eye-catching designs in dazzling colors.

What Are Ikats?
The word “ikat” (pronounced ee-kaht) is derived from the Malay word mengikat, meaning “to tie or bind.” Most fabric is dyed after it is woven, but the yarn that makes up an ikat is dyed before weaving. Sections of the yarn are tied off with binding to protect it from absorbing dye. When the dyed yarn is unbound, patterns emerge between the undyed and dyed sections creating dazzling patterns.

Mary Zicafoose at MFA and CHT Conference   In conjunction with the exhibit, Mary Zicafoose gave a lecture at the HMFA on March 16.  Mary is a featured teacher and speaker at this summer’s CHT Conference and there is still space available for her lecture on Saturday evening, June 3 and in her workshop New Strategies for New Works in Cloth. Members who had the chance to see her speak this week say that her workshop will be an inspiring and energizing day for all fiber enthusiasts!!

So, while you’re in Houston for the conference, be sure to save some time to see this absolutely gorgeous exhibit of Uzbek Ikats from the collection The Textile Museum plus a special installation of ikat textiles from India, Japan, and Central Asia—on view in the Museum’s permanent galleries in the Law Building. The entire exhibit demonstrates ikat traditions from many cultures around the globe.