Digikat 2020

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.


Project 1 | Oriquat

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.

Team members: Praveen Sinha, Ajitesh Lokhande, Yatharth

Project 2 | Ikat Generator

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.

Team members: Salil Parekh, Meilin Siao Bhatt

Project 3 | Making of Ikat

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.

Team members: Samarth Gulati, Meilin Siao Bhatt

Project 4 | Cost Calculator

A digital tool that visualises the financial and creative decision making process behind designing ikat textile.

Team members: Hugo Pilate, Nien Siao

Project 5 | Ikat x Dataviz

To document and trace stories of the craft community in the form of data visualisation patterns. These visualisations can then be converted into Ikat fabric in collaboration with the craft community.

Team members: Komal Jain, Mike CJ, Natasha Singh

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.

Next steps

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