Digikat is a convivial foray into the heritage of Ikat through the lens of creative coding. For three weeks, a group of creative coders, designers, and textile experts, convened to craft possible bridges between the two worlds.
Ikat is a dyeing technique used to pattern textiles that employs resist dyeing on the yarns prior to dyeing and weaving the fabric. It is also craft that has been adopted in several indian states and southeastern countries, each contributing their own nuances to the craft.
This craft-focused "hackathon" was guided by a shared desire to make technology and creative coding accessible to designers working with craft communities instead of having it drive the discussion. Each week, different speakers were invited to share their experience in working with textile artisans.
A new kind of optical recognition code scheme custom-designed for Ikat fabrics. Oriqat is proposed as a repeated pattern code that enables quick identification of origin, creator, date of production and ownership records of authentic, original, ikat creations.
It is an interactive web tool that facilitates generating Ikat patterns with unique moments and sensibilities using the various controls. This allows for the creation of unique design choices and finer control over the output.
In this interactive walkthrough we try to showcase the different stages involved in making an Ikat fabric, and have people appreciate the effort that goes into it.
See the project here.
A digital tool that visualises the financial and creative decision making process behind designing ikat textile.
Webinar 1 | Ikat Primer
An introduction to the practice and craft of ikat-making and to the intent of digikat.
Speaker 1: Bina Rao, Co-founder and Creative Head of Creative Bee
Speaker 2: Gunjan Jain, Founder of Designer, Vriksh designs
Speaker 3: Ambika Joshi, Co-founder of Ajaibghar Cultural Services
Webinar 2 | Textile Innovations
An exploration of how different individuals have revisited the space of crafts and ikat in their own practices.
Speaker 1: Manisha Chawda, Founder of Neeli Titlee
Speaker 2: Alex McLean Designer, Co-founder of Algorave, website
Speaker 3: Komal Jain, Designer (Digikat project update)
Webinar 3 | Ikat Show & Tell
In the final webinar each Digikat team had the chance to present the projects presented above and their respective creative journeys. Please watch for more context on the pieces presented in this site.
Digikat started as a passion project over the 2020 lockdown. The intent of the excercise was to create opensource, easily accessible digital tools to expand the reach of traditional crafts.
This effort was in large part informed by the global community-building efforts of Processing Community Day and Museomix with logistical and curatorial support from Hasgeek and Ajaighbar respectively.
There are several ways we'd like to take this project forward:
To partner with textile designers and artisans to refine these tools
To apply this craft-hackathon format to other crafts via partnerships with museums and other cultural institutions
To take some of these ideas to market so long as their application and use can remain within the opensource ecosystem.
If you'd like to join us on the next part of our journey(s) please reach out to Hugo Pilate