Double Ikat Bali

by Markita Hall-Gumble

The last stop in Bali is the ancient village of Tenganan on the east side of the island of Bali.  The villagers are called Bali Aga or original Balinese.  To visit the village, you take a car to the outside gate of the village.  There is an entrance fee, which provides you with a local villager as a guide.  The highlight (from a textile point of view) are the double ikat fabrics.  

Ikat is an Indonesian word depending on the context can be a noun – a cord, a bundle or a verb to tie or bind.   Ikat is now a generic English loanword used to describe the process and the cloth itself regardless of where the fabric was produced or how it is patterned. In batik or tie dye  the whole cloth is bound and/or other resist is applied before dyeing.   With ikat, the individual threads are bound and/or resist applied BEFORE the cloth is woven!

Three types of ikat weaving 

1) Warp ikat – The fastest (of the three)  the warp threads are dyed to form a pattern while a solid color weft is used.  The pattern reveals as the fabric is woven.

2) Weft ikat – Only the weft (crosswise) yarns are dyed to form the pattern.  The warp is solid color.  It is slower as the weft needs to be constantly adjusted to keep the pattern.

3) Double ikat –  Both the warp and weft are dyed to create complex patterns.

In the Tenganan village, there is one design of double ikat that is woven.  It tells the story of the village.  And now I have a piece of Bali in my home!  I am so glad I had this experience and I hope this artform is always with the Bali Aga. 

by Markita Hall-Gumble

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.