The spectrum of the Songket

To continue the Indonesian theme my favourite new discovery is the Songket. A traditional ceremonial cloth woven in Bali and a few other parts of Indonesia. These are incredible cloths…in some ways very contemporary and graphic. Typically they have mad, crazy colour combinations; colours that really shouldn’t work together but they do. Soft candy floss pinks with apple green, a dash of dark aubergine shot through with vibrant turquoise. Usually with a metallic thread woven through the cloths they were once only available to the upper echelons of society and indeed woven by them too. Now they are more widely made and worn at special occasions and wedding ceremonies by all Indonesians. The most extraordinary thing about them is that they appear to be embroidered after they are woven but are actually woven with a supplementary weft technique which means the motifs are woven simultaneously as the ground cloth. Bearing in mind they are woven back to front on two shaft back strap looms they are incredibly skilled and complex things to make. More on these to come, along with a whole series of small articles about Indonesian textiles, in Selvedge Magazine.

Watch this space.

Thanks to Tip Top for additonal pictures.





About Ptolemy Mann

Ptolemy Mann is a textile artist, designer and architectural colour consultant
This entry was posted in Art, Colour, Design, Indonesia, Textiles, Weaving and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The spectrum of the Songket

  1. Di' says:

    They’re so pretty, aren’t they? Have you looked at some Songket from Sumatra? Have you heard of Ulos from Batak and Tapis from Lampung?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s