Bali Day 8 part 2
Bali Indonesia Day 8
We took a trip to an Ikat factory.
The Ikat and Double Ikat are two amazing techniques that the Balinese have perfected. A piece of Ikat cloth is woven in such a way that the ink is 'tied' (which is what 'ikat' literally translates to) in one of the two threads. A Double Ikat recursively repeats this technique; both threads contain ink. The ink will bleed to its neihboring area, and the result is a piece of cloth with distinctive, subtle patterns.
The village of Tenganan is well known for its superb double ikat work. A good piece of double ikat may take months to complete, and it usually belongs to the family heirloom. Certain patterns, such as the black and white, checkered, double ikat are considered to have protective powers against the evil spirits. Thus, they are used a lot to cover or to dress statues that guard the entrance to a temple or sacred masks like Barong.
They were using both traditional manual looms as well as 2 new automated electric looms. The process of creating textiles always intrigues me. As a child, my grandmother was an avid knitter and had a wall sized loom (Corey's mother too was/is a weaver). However, instead of teaching me to knit --she taught me to quill... Hmmmm...
The factory itself was beautiful - the hand looms in one area and the electric in another. Spools and spools of different colored threads and cabinets filled with these. There was also a large area filled with some type of liquid (I'm thinking it might have been toxic since the men wading in it were wearing protective masks) that they were using to treat the final fabrics.