Rasuljon Mirzaahmedov is a ninth-generation ikat master living in Margilan, Uzbekistan. Mirzaahmedov employs eight other ikat masters and more than 40 weavers in the Crafts Development Center. He’s been in business for over 20 years
“The main folk art we do is ikat weaving,” Rasuljon explains. Ikat is a time-intensive dyeing technique that produces a bright pattern on both sides of a piece of fabric, usually silk. “We produce silk and ikat textiles, ready-to-wear garments, bags, and interior décor items,” Mirzaahmedov says.
The work provides himself and his employees with steady, reliable income, as well as an opportunity to celebrate and proliferate their Uzbek heritage. “Our art helps sustain my family and community—we can afford school for our children, and improve our infrastructure,” says Rasuljon.
The group is honored that this group was selected to be a part of the IFAM | Online program. Rasuljon explains, “The training is building capacity to expand our business. We will be able to sell our products all year round, so new job opportunities will be created for our women.”
He grew up with his parents in Margilan, Uzbekistan. “I was born into a family of craftsmen,” he says. Rasuljon’s father, Turgunboy, was an Uzbek ikat pioneer. “He was always considering new designs, structures, and coloring techniques,” Rasuljon remembers, “and that inspired me.”
Ikat emerged in northern India, and by the 18th and 19th centuries, the Great Silk Road had brought the technique to Central Asia. “One can view astonishing examples of early Central Asian ikat worldwide,” Rasuljon explains.