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Bali traditional textiles are much more than simply decorative pieces of cloth. To the Balinese they represent of cultural identity and religious exclusivity. The use of certain cloths can reflect of the status of wearer distinguishing between age, sex, title and caste. Balinese clothe almost everything which have a head, body and feet. During rituals, buildings, altars, shrines , ancestor stones and statues are all wrapped with clothes - which are not tailored, but are used in the form in which they are woven. Certain cloths were believed to contain supernatural powers that protected the wearer from evil influences.

The art of Balinese textile decoration is best expressed in skirt, chest and head cloths. There are three category of Balinese textile.

  • Prada cloth, is identified by gold designs on batik cloth with complex motifs of birds, butterflies and flowers, still used during tooth-filing and marriage ceremonies. You can find it in Sukawati art market.
  • Songket brocades, decorated with ornamental weft of gold and silver. It usually comes in two-meter lengths for use as sarongs or long scarves by Balinese women in ceremonies.
  • Ikat , is the most popular Balinese textile form. Made by ancient technique where a motif is dyed into the threads of a cloth before being woven. The most famous ikat in Bali is geringsing which can be find in Teganan.


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