Throughout the world, the wealth of traditional Balinese textiles is well known. Many of the best
examples can be found in museums as far away as Switzerland.
While they are admired by
many for their beauty and sheer artistry, textiles play an important part in the daily
life and ceremonies of the Balinese. An interesting fact about traditional Balinese
clothing is that most consist of a simple rectangular piece of cloth which is then elegantly wrapped around the body.
Many people who come to Bali ask for Balinese Batik. Batik in Bali comes from Java. Traditional batik sarongs are
available in Denpasar markets.
The beautiful Songket fabrics worn by performers of traditional dance are a good example. Out of imported elements
evolved new creations in design and arrangement. Trade introduced gold and silver thread
and particularIy silk thread, as well as the application of beds and sequins and new dye
techniques. All this encouraged and enriched the variety in weaving.Endek, or weft
ikat is another common method used in Bali. In weft ikat weaving, the weft threads are
dyed to create the design and then woven with plain warp threads. These cloths are
recognizable by their abstract designs and bright colors.
Several other traditional cloths are also found. One is called Prada. An old batik cloth using gold.
This technique has died out. Prada cloths found use imitation gold paint, usually on
polyester that are use in fans and hotel decorations. Balinese dance costumes are also
made of prada. Place to buy it is in the Sukawati art market.
Although by far the least common form of weaving to be seen in Bali, design before being woven
together. With the exception of certain areas in India and Japan, this weaving technique
can only be found in the small village of Bali Aga in Tenganan, East Bali.