A TRADITION OF SUSTAINABILITY
Belle Ikat revives millennia-old traditions: The German fashion label from Mannheim focuses on the Uzbek Ikat fabric, which is still woven using old techniques, ecologically dyed and fairly traded.
Long before Belle Ikat was founded, fairness and social commitment were important aspects of Isabella Stadler's live.
"When I created the label and became intensively involved in the production of fashion, it was immediately clear to me that I wanted to go a different way with the label. Sustainability and social responsibility have top priority for me," explains founder and managing director Isabella Stadler and continues: "I am proud that I was able to achieve this."
For that purpose, the label has come up with a very special strategy: All designs of the label are made of traditional Ikat fabrics. The old weaving techniques from Uzbekistan were almost forgotten, as machine production and chemical dyeing processes were about to replace the traditional techniques. But since Uzbekistan became an independent state in the early 1990s, the government has been promoting traditional handicrafts. More and more small family businesses are producing high-quality organic fabrics. The Fergana Valley in Uzbekistan is particularly known for high-quality Ikat fabrics. Many luxury brands source their fabrics here - and since 2018, the young label Belle Ikat has also been sourcing from here.
Isabella Stadler, the founder of Belle Ikat
The owner, Isabella Stadler travels regularly to Fergana and maintain personal contact with the suppliers in order to get an idea of the production conditions. Only selected manufactories produce the fabrics for Belle Ikat. They are made of high-quality natural materials such as silk, linen or cotton. Their patterns are inspired by nature and translate ancient stories into a modern language. All fabrics are unique and have a maximum width of 40 cm. The fine knots and irregularities that the material shows are a sign of the quality and loving handicraft that goes into its production.
The dyeing process requires no chemicals at all. When dipping into the natural dye bath, the tied sections remain raw white - similar to the batik technique, but here only the threads are dyed. This is how the characteristic patterns are created. Everything is possible, from stair-like stripes to geometric structures. The Uzbek Ikat masters dye only the warp thread, the weft thread running crosswise remains untreated.
At a manufacture in Fergana, Uzbekistan. Weaving the famous Ikat fabrics.
The finished Belle Ikat tunics, scarves and dresses are produced in Mannheim in Germany. All patterns are joined together exactly and then processed into an exclusive unique piece. Or as the label expresses it: Dreams are woven into reality.