The Magical Geringsing Cloth from Bali.

The Magical Geringsing Cloth from Bali.

Geringsing ikat is probably one of the most well-known Indonesian traditional textiles outside of Indonesia and considered to be one of the most important ritual cloths in Bali. This textile is created by the double ikat method in the Bali Aga village of Tenganan Pegeringsingan, Bali.

The double ikat technique practised in Tenganan is apparently only practised in parts of India, Japan and Indonesia, and in Indonesia, it is confined only to the village of Tenganan, in Bali. There are many different sizes of Geringsing cloth and have many different ways to wear them, according to the age and gender of the wearers within the village society and their role in the ceremonies.

We visited Tenganan in February 2014 and had a close look at how this amazing double ikat method is done. The name “double ikat” represent the true complexity of the process. Firstly, the long process of repeats dyeing of the yarns (usually using natural dyes) both yarns for purpose of the weft and warp designs and then weaving them into a piece of textile, ensuring that the desired designs are achieved and properly aligned. The process is truly laborious, time-consuming, and required real patient. Geringsing is a ceremonial cloth, a textile for the Gods, a textile that communicates identity, visibility and superficially and the people of Tenganan believe that it has the power to protect the village and its people.

To understand more about the Geringsingan, it is probably best to visit the village and chat to the weavers there, they are always willing to share their experience and knowledge on this magical textile.

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