Artisan Spotlight: Rosuljon Mirzaakhmedov

 Rosuljon Mirzaakhmedov

Rosuljon Mirzaakhmedov

A ninth-generation Ikat master weaver, Rosuljon was taught the art of Ikat by his father, Turgunboy Mirzaakhmedov - a well respected pioneer of Ikat weaving. He grew up in Margilan, Uzbekistan witnessing the turbulent Soviet era which forced Ikat production to cease and his family to move to Andijon to find work. The subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990's saw a re-emergence of traditional textiles and Rosuljon and his family moved back to Margilan to establish their own Ikat business. Today he works with a team of over fifty people from a 19th-century madrassa school in the heartland of Ikat production. 

Rosuljon’s passion for Ikat doesn’t stop there. He regularly holds workshops and masterclasses around the world, transferring his knowledge of Ikat to others and keeping the ancient art very much alive.  In 2005 UNESCO recognised his work for reviving the complex art of Bukhara velvet Ikat and awarding him a Seal of Excellence. In 2008, Oscar De La Renta used some of Rosuljon’s Ikat designs in his Fall Collection.

With the Green Carpet Challenge now bringing sustainable glamour to the red carpet, more and more A-listers such as Emma Watson and Gwyneth Paltrow are stepping out in eco-chic style to champion positive change in the fashion industry. This celebrity endorsement carries great influence with an ever increasing movement of people raising awareness for artisans who make our clothes. We are no exception. We are passionate about the stories of our artisans, it's what makes our products unique. So in this month's Artisan Spotlight, we take a look at how one of our artisans, Rosuljon Mirzaakhmedov, took the ancient art of Ikat weaving to the cat-walk and how he creates the beautiful Ikat scarves you wear.

 "Tying the Cloud"

"Tying the Cloud"

One of the most ancient forms of textile tie-dye, Ikat is found all over the world from Thailand to Indonesia, China, Japan and India. An incredibly complex process, Rosuljon creates Abrbandi known as “tying the cloud”, a form of Ikat specific to Uzbekistan. Created by marking patterns on rows of silk bundles before they are woven, then tying these bundles at each mark, (tying the cloud), the threads are then resist-dyed in various colour pigments. Once dry, the ties are removed (untying the cloud) revealing layers of colour.  The designs come to life as the cloth is woven revealing the immense creativity and skill of the artisan who created it. The scarves go through up to a hundred intricate steps. From extracting silk thread from silk worms to binding, dyeing, designing, weaving and finally finishing the scarf. It's no wonder that over the centuries, Ikat gained a reputation as a magical fabric worn only by royalty. 

 Dying the silk

Dying the silk

 Hand weaving on a traditional loom

Hand weaving on a traditional loom

Our handmade Ikat scarves created by Rosuljon just for you, are beautifully vibrant with a luxurious texture. One-of-a-kind, the bold motifs with their signature blurred edges are so characteristic of Uzbek Ikat. Hand spun, hand-dyed and handwoven by master weavers, our Ikat scarves are a timeless accessory you'll treasure for many years to come. Simply a work of art!