The Geringsing Textile is believed to be produced from one of the most rarest forms of ikat weaving techniques in the world today. These rare Balinese textiles are still produced in Tenganan, a traditional Balinese village in eastern Bali. In this very tiny village the amazingly and difficult weaving method practised to produce geringsing textile (or flaming ikat cloth) is still preformed daily by many very talented women weavers. The elaborate process involves both the 'warp' and 'weft' threads being carefully bound and then dyed in predetermined places, creating patterns that are made to fit harmoniously together into a finished design.
Once the piece is completely woven on a back-strap loom, the geometric repetitive patterns must interlock in exactly the same place, in order for the fabric to have any aesthetic value or meaning. Stars, flowers and crosses fill the body, while rhombuses and chains of keys run lengthwise through the long narrow cloth. The colors used are muted earth tones, derived from vegetable dyes like indigo and turmeric bark.
Geringsing textiles are worn as sashes in everyday wear, however on festival days women dress from head to-toe in these beautiful geringsing textiles. According to Balinese belief these rare Balinese textiles protect and preserves the wearer from harm. No rite of passage may be carried out without the obligatory wearing of geringsing textiles.
Though other forms of ikat were probably imported from India, geringsing textile weaving is thought to have originated only in Tenganan-Bali. To support this theory, nowhere else in Indonesia is this intensely time-consuming and jealously guarded double ikat process practiced. Only a very small number of woman weavers still know how, to weave geringsing textiles. To produce such rare Balinese textiles, a woman may labor for years on a single piece.
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