Medium of Work:
Master Uzbek textile artist Rasuljon Mirzaakhmedov has been a participant of Santa Fe’s International Folk Art Market for thirteen years. A fifth generation artisan, Mirzaakhmedov is a master ikat dyer from Margilan City, Uzbekistan, hailed by many as the heart of Central Asian silk production. He grew up amongst artists, with family members who were at the forefront of a highly desirable, unique method of ikat-dyed velvet woven textiles. The process is laborious, involving white silk threads which must be dyed before being placed on a traditional, narrow loom. This complicated technique yields characteristically silky and smooth textiles—and can take up to a month to produce just a few yards of fabric.
An indication of the deep reverence for ikat is found in the Uzbek word for a master of warp tying: abr-band. It means cloud tier, and it captures some of the wizardry of tightly bundling fluffy, newly spun threads, dipping them in a color, untying and retying them in preparation for each dip in the dye vat, until the traditional three, five, or seven color patterns are complete. The process is just as magical as the final product.
Ikat fabrics are regional to a number of varied arias, including Japan and South America, to name just a couple; what sets Mirzaakhmedov apart is his exceptional attention to detail, and also his adherence to traditional artistic depictions of pattering and motifs distinctive to Uzbek culture and craft. In addition to being awarded a UNESCO Seal of Excellence, Mirzaakhmedov has written a book about naturally sourced dyes and their applications.