SongketTraditional Court Dress
Songket is a supplementary weft technique, the motif being created in the base weave during weaving. The pattern is defined by 250 extra heddles. Each of these lifts only those warp threads under which the supplementary weft must pass at a given point in the design. As weaving progresses, the pattern heddle in use changes and the design develops. Paired songket are worn by both sexes as wedding attire or during tooth filing rituals.
The motif on this stunning songket made with all-natural dyes is called prada, a name derived from the technique of decorating cloth with gold leaf. Prada cloth originated from the aristocratic circles of Majapahit, a kingdom in East Java. The technique was then taken over by the royal courts of Bali and has remained a prestigious textile to date. Using gold powder, or gold paint it is adhered to the fabric with a mixture of glues from linseed oil, egg white and fish oil. The painstaking process behind the manufacture of this special cloth shows the high level of skill of Balinese craftsmen. The prada textiles included motifs of bird, butterfly or flower and continues to be the standard signature and distinctive feature of a ceremonial cloth in Bali. It is no wonder that the prada cloth would be integrated into songket cloths.
Information about the makers will be supplied with each cloth.
Supplementary weft patterning, two panels sewn together, silk threads used as base with cotton threads as patterning, natural dyes. Made in Bali, 2020.
188 x 106 cm / 74 x 41.5 in
Textiles and Their Culture: Adonara Island | Bali Island | Flores Island | Java Island | Kalimantan Island | Lembata Island | Savu & Rai Jua Islands | Sulawesi Island | Sumba Island | Timor Island
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