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Some of the textiles presented in our catalog were produced with interwoven metallic threads, usually in gold or silver. This ceremonial wedding dress from Bali is an excellent example.

These golden threads are woven into the cloth after the base textile is woven. Fabrics which use this kind of supplementary weaving are called songket in western Indonesian terminology

Historically this kind of embellishment has been used in textiles that have special ritual importance and is closely associated with Bali's traditional kingdoms and royal families.

Even today one can see songket cloths being used in public celebrations and theatrical events.

Notice how the thin ribbons of gold are wrapped around a fiber (usually silk) thread, producing a kind of thread that can be woven into the cloth in a way that pure metal cannot be used.

Normally these cloths are woven in a number of different sizes and either draped, wrapped or tied around the body with wonderful inventiveness. They are never tailored into garments.

The production process of these textiles is quite complex and extremely time consuming. As a result, authentic songket cloths are relatively expensive, due both to the cost of the raw materials and the time it takes to produce them.

In a future article we will illustrate the devices and techniques used to create them.

Related products

Woven cotton, very brightly colored red-magenta with interwoven details in accent colors and gold-colored thread.

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Shimmering silver-colored thread interwoven with maroon cotton cloth.

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Ornamental belt with gold metallic thread which may also be used as a table decoration or wall hanging.

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Heavy cotton cloth, tubular format, with gold thread.

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