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Jun 3, 2010

Indonesian Woven Fabric

Author:Wulansari Darawijaya

Songket is a type of traditional woven cloth Melayu ethnic who live in Indonesia especially in Palembang. Songket usually woven by hand with gold and silver threads and generally worn on formal occasions. Woven cloth has still exist in Palembang since the Sriwijaya kingdom. Songket origins are from ancient trade between China and India. People Tionghoa provide silk, while the Indians contributed gold and silver thread. As a result, be songket. Based on the origin of its name, derived from the word pin (tusuk) and fork (cukit) are shortened to suk-kit. In a later development suk-kit was later pronounced sungkit and later became songket.

Songket fabric is woven on a frame loom Melayu . Intricate patterns are created by introducing the threads of gold or silver with the use of an extra piece of flat needles. Songket must go through eight steps before becoming a piece of cloth and still is woven traditionally. Because the weavers are usually from the village, it is not surprising that his motives were patterned in the local flora and fauna pattern. This motif was also named to the Melayu as a series of local cake is rich, diamonds, and meal trays, which is allegedly a favorite of the king.

Palembang songket cloth is widely used by women in traditional wedding ceremonies, both by the bride, female dancers and female guests who attend. In addition, songket also used in formal occasions welcoming guests (officials) from the outside or from Palembang . Using songket that are limited to events or certain activities are caused by a type of clothes songket is high value. Songket is highly appreciated by the people of Palembang.

In ancient times (Sriwijaya) Palembang songket fabric not only traded in the surrounding area (on the island of Sumatra only), but also to other countries, such as: China, Siam, India and Arabia. However, when the Dutch and Japanese colonial rule, songket must face the decreasing. Even when the Revolution (1945 - 1950) in Palembang songket craft had been halted due to lack of raw materials. However, in the early 1960s Palembang songket made progress rapidly since the government provides and bring in raw materials as well as help marketing.

Palembang songket equipment can basically be categorized into two, namely the basic tools and additional tools . Both are made of wood and bamboo. Basic tools is a set of loom which is called the "dayan". A set of tools measuring 2 x 1.5 meter consists of rolls / boom (a tool used to roll the basic yarn fabrics), penyincing (a tool used to stretch and get the yarn fabrics), beliro (a tool used to create songket motives ), cahcah (a tool used to insert another string to the basic yarn), and gun1 (an instrument to pick up threads). Meanwhile, additional equipment that has function for setting yarn position when the yarn is being woven are peleting, caulking, belero varieties, and palette binoculars. Additional equipment was placed to the right of the weavers, so they can easily be reachedit by hand.

Songket fabric base material is called a warp yarn or warp. Warp yarns made of cotton, bark, banana fiber, pineapple fiber, and palm fronds. Meanwhile, the decorations consisted of silk yarn and gold thread. Silk comes from Taiwan and China, while the golden thread from India, Japan, Thailand, Germany and France. Besides yarn, there are goods to be imported from Germany and England which. It is dye yarn.

How to create the warp threads is done by using weights that can be played with your fingers. Ballast is shaped like a gasing and made from wood or terracotta material. Another way that many found in the western part of Indonesia (Sumatra, Java, Bali and Lombok) is to use antih (a device consisting of a wide wheel and the hook that can be rotated to rotate the wheel). Whereas, in order to obtain specifics color, colored yarn that will be soaked in soap for approximately 14 minutes. Its purpose is to thread the oil substance is lost. After that, dyed with the desired color, and dried. Furthermore, after the dry, thread the dikelos (rolled). After that, pengania process (to prepare the number of threads to be woven according to the type and / or shape songket will be made).

Palembang songket-making is basically done in two steps. The first step is the basic fabric weave with flat or plain weave construction and the second step is weave decorative which is an additional part of the weft. American and European society call this way of weaving such as "inlay weaving system."

Time that is needed for making a songket depends on the type of fabric which is created and its size, as well as subtlety and complexity of motives’ songket . The more subtle and complicated motives’ songket, the longer process. Manufacture of gloves and / or fabric for example, can take approximately two to six months. In fact, a songket cloth often has been made for more than six months, because every day an average worker can only complete the fabric along the 50-10 centimeters. Exclusive songket require between one and three months to complete, while ordinary songket only takes about three days.

Songket weaving process

Lombok Woven Fabric

Woven from Lombok is one of the amazing culture of Indonesia. Lombok woven fabric crafters working in one weaving center in Sukarara Village, Central Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB). Craftsman has a hereditary weaving skills.

Making cloth weaving is complex and difficult enough. All manufacturing processes using wood and bamboo tools are operated manually or by hand. Time workmanship can be up to two weeks.

Various motif fabrics are used to beautify the results of the woven. Making Lombok woven fabric still use manual equipment. Ornamental motifs of birds, plants, animals, symmetrical lines, zig-zag, square, ,alternating colors harmoniously combined degradation. They even fill almost the entire field of fabric seems to bear its own allure.

The craftsmen use local cotton or linen in Lombok or Surabaya. Then, the yarn is dyed by natural dyes. Yellow with turmeric, with bark brown, red color using the red betel leaves and purple wearing indigo.
After boiling for the coloring process, dried and woven ready when it is dry.

weaving process


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