Difference Between Single Ikat and Double Ikat

Ikat traditional pattern

Ikat fabric is among the most popular design styles that bring in unmatched beauty and detailed prints. If you love and appreciate the fine printed patterns on fabric, you will realize ikat is unique and has its own characters. And when it comes to sarees it becomes much more attractive.

The beautiful term ikat relates to a special dying process that craftsmen use to create eye-soothing designs on fabric. It’s a resist dyeing method in which bunches of yarn are wrapped tightly and dyed multiple times to create the needed pattern. The entire coloring method is different as the yarn bunches are dyed before the woven of clothes begins. 

How many types of Ikat are there?

The three types of Ikat are warp ikat, weft ikat and double ikat. The warp and weft ikats are called single ikat. In warp ikat, the weft fibers are all colored using a very strong dye and only the tied yarns are dyed. In this method, the pattern is clearly evident when the strings are wound on the loom, and weaving in the weft threads sets the color and complements the fabric formation.

What is a single ikat?

Ikat is an ancient technique and it is a method of wrapping yarns to form an area of resist, and then dyeing these parts of yarn before the weaving of a cloth starts. Single ikat fabric is designed by interweaving bundled and dyed warp with plain weft or resisted weft yarns is inserted in the plain warp.

You can see how a single ikat reflects on a saree below which is Kora Silk Cotton Single Ikat saree.

What is double ikat?

Double Ikat includes the process of resisting on both weft and warp and then combining them to form intricate yet very beautiful patterns. Compared to single ikat, it takes substantially more time to create double ikat as it has more weaving and pattern work. 

You can see how a double ikat reflects on a saree below which is Double Ikat Patola saree.

What is the difference between single ikat and double ikat?

As there are so many fabric types available in the market, it becomes really confusing for the customers to understand the real difference. Ikat is a beautiful fabric and it still tops the list of beautiful patterns despite being such an ancient printing technique. To simplify things and make it quick to understand what separates single ikat from double ikat, we have you covered. 

Method of making

Single Ikat fabric is formed by interweaving bundling the fabric and dyed warp with plain weft or resisted weft yarns are inserted in the plain weft. On the other hand, the double Ikat includes the process of resisting on both weft and warp and then connecting them to form complex and beautiful patterns.

In warp Ikat, the coloring of the threads would be of the warp (lengthwise arrangement of threads) on which the weft (bundle of thread woven breadth wise across the warp) is created. 

In weft Ikat, it would be vice versa. In double Ikat, both the warp yarns and the weft threads would be colored in a separate manner and then sewed together. In warp Ikat, the designs are visible on the warp before the weft is added. Ikat designed by dyeing the warp is easy compared to the making of either double Ikat or weft Ikat.

When single and double ikat are used?

Weft Ikat is used when it is the complete design or the pattern that is vital, not the accuracy of the patterns. Double ikkat is unique because it takes care of both things as when both the design and accuracy of the pattern are important, double ikat comes into play. 

Some of the artistic excellence of Ikat prints can be taken from its popular themes of flowers, mythological characters, birds, patterns of diamonds, and more. This difference justifies the price difference between single ikat and double ikat. There are many clothing styles or fabrics that need to have accurate patterns and designs from both sides of the fabrics. And, for meeting this requirement, the double ikat is the most preferred choice among the available options. 

Visibility in design motifs

When it comes to the visibility of pattern on the fabrics, both single ikat, and double ikat has different results. When we talk about the double ikat, the design motifs and other patterns are clearly visible in the fabrics and they look brighter. The pattern created in double ikat is visible on both the threads (front and the back). So, you can easily identify a double ikat fabric by carefully observing both sides of the fabric. 

In the single ikat, the visibility of the motifs and design patterns are not that bright as the detailing is not present on the fabric. By detailing, it simply means that only the weft yarn is tied and dyed. The design patterns and motifs are not as clear and visible as in the double ikat. It happens because the warp color that is solid mixes with the tie-dyed part of the weft yarn.

Time required in manufacturing them

Both single ikat and double ikat are beautiful and look timeless when worn. Talking about the time needed to prepare the fabrics, there is a substantial difference between both of them. Single ikat takes less time to complete as the detailing is only on the single side. On the other hand, the double ikat pattern takes more time to complete as it goes through multiple layers of work and the dying process. This makes the double ikat more precious and expensive fabric. 

Fine prints

When it comes to fine prints on the fabrics, double ikat offers more vivid characteristics than single ikat. If you are looking for a fabric that is more appealing in terms of fine prints and details, then you should go for the double ikat. On the other hand, if you are looking for a less sophisticated version of it, the single ikat is here for you.


Ikat is an exceptionally popular fabric and there is a huge demand for both single and double ikat sarees depending on various factors. Double ikat fabrics are more expensive compared to single ikat. Now as you know the complete differences, go for the best one and experience this unique fabric. So which fabric are you going to buy for yourself to make your special occasion even more memorable?