Bali Songket
The black and the mauve are Bali’s Songket

Bali’s Hindu background has brought a rich diversity to textiles. These textiles were used importantly at rites of passage, and at ceremonies honouring ancestors.

Klungkung, forty kilometres east of Den Pasar, is the centre of the former royal court. Its songket weaving was regarded as an aristocratic art, made by women associated with the royal courts.

Today Klungkung songket are worn as ceremonial garments for dances and temple rituals and for weddings.

It takes about two months to weave a kain songket on a traditional body-tension loom. If ikat is included in the weft design, the production takes even longer.

Motifs on songket include both formalised and everyday figures. As well as using traditional threads, contemporary songket make use of the range of colour that synthetic threads provide.

cf Cita Tenun Indonesia. “Tenun”, KITLV – Jakarta, Jakarta, 2010
Sylvia Fraser-Lu, “Handwoven Textiles of South-East Asia”, OUP, Singapore 1988