The Weavers at Gianyar

The next place Dewa took us to was a weaving factory at Gianyar. Behind the fancy showroom, women were weaving on handlooms to create the famous ikat cloth. We walked around and saw how the ikat is made. First, plastic ribbons are tied onto the warp (the vertical threads of the weave) which is tied onto a frame - this is before the weaving takes place. Then women paint the threads with dye - the parts covered by the ribbons do not get painted. Then the ribbons are removed and the unpainted patches are painted a different color (this is what is happening in this picture). This creates the pre-painted warp, which is then woven with the horizontal weft threads to create the final ikat.

There is also a highly prized "double ikat", in which, I presume the weft is also pre-colored. I can only imagine how that is created. The lady here let me have a go on her loom.

I ended up buying a beautiful shirt here made from ikat cloth, as well as a gorgeous sarong and sash, and a head-wrap. The prices were extortionate by Balinese standards, but still incredibly cheap compared with Western prices.

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Photos: Astrid, Martin and Julia Randall
All content copyright (c) 2001, Astrid, Martin and Julia Randall