This double ikat, called a kamben geringsing cloth, was created in the Balinese village of Tenganan, one of three places in the world (Tenganan, Indonesia, India and Japan) that make this intricate and symbolic textile. Tenganan is world-famous among textile technologists; creation of the double ikat involves a technique in which resist patterns are applied to both the warp and weft before weaving, so that the final pattern appears only on completion. The symbols, colors and the process itself are integral to Balinese society.
The Star motif throughout the ikat signifies the time when the god Indra, honored as the creator of the first human beings, was reveling in the radiance of the moonlight and the beauty of the stars. These resolved themselves into images and patterns which from that time onward were destined to become the sacred cloths of the first Balinese. The god Indra then taught the girls and women the art of making double ikat cloths. The textiles are used in important community and family rituals, and through their magical potency serve to protect the people of the community from the threat of defilement and decay. The textiles are worn as costume, showing rank, become part of dowries, gifts and as signifiers of family wealth.
In this double ikat, the most striking and characteristic feature is its muted coloring, combining red and reddish-brown tones, eggshell and dark blue or black-violet. The cloth is woven in loose tabby from cotton yarns and incorporates geometric symbols.
For further information on the double ikat, please contact the Gallery.