Songket Weaving in Bali, Indonesia

Songket cloth is often brocaded (sungkit or nyuntik; decorated with an extra weft) with metallic thread. This cloth is worn during weddings and other religious occasions by the royal family and the upper class.

Songket on display at the Bali Museum in Denpasar.

Songket worn at a 2007 royal wedding in Ubud, Bali.

Songket cloth is backstrap woven in Sidemen, Bali. It may be purchased from Pelangi in Sidemen, Karangasem, Bali, Indonesia (telephone 366 23012).

This weaver was too quick for me to properly photograph in sequence. As she moved forward and backward, she pressed her feet against the front brace of the loom to increase and decease the tension as needed, changed the sheds, and inserted the weft at lightning speed! 

Supplementary metallic weft is inserted.

The shed is changed.

More SMW is inserted.

The shed is again changed by pulling up another string heddle.

The beater is inserted to help open the shed.

The cotton weft is passed through.

SMW is carefully placed.

The shed is again changed by pulling up another string heddle.

Beater placement assures that only warp along the edges is raised for the SMW.

More Supplementary Metallic Weft is carefully inserted.

The shuttle is passed through.

A bamboo shuttle holds a bobbin of cotton thread.

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Recommended Book:
Songket Weaving in Indonesia, by Suwati Kartiwa, published by Djambatan, Jakarta, Java, Indonesia, 3rd edition, 1996, ISBN 979-428-130-1.

Highly Recommended Non-Governmental Organization: Threads of Life 

Recommended Guide: Rudy (arranged through Tutut) was my fabulous bilingual guide and driver in Bali.

Web page, photographs, and text by Carol Ventura in 2007. Please look at Carol's home page to see more about crafts around the world.