Songket Bali

Bali Songket, Wealth of Traditional Balinese Crafts – In addition to ikat or endek woven cloth, Bali also has songket woven. In the past, Balinese people did not carelessly weave songket because this cloth is very much related to the traditional traditions there. Bali Songket has its own characteristics and style compared to songket weaving from other regions and is a part of the wealth of Nusantara woven cloth which must be preserved and developed.

Songket Bali
Songket Bali : image from

Until 1930, songket weaving activities were aristocratic family activities. Songket developed in Karangasem, Klungkung, Buleleng, Jembrana, and Badung.

The traditional Balinese songket fabric is woven from pure colored silk with gold threads that form decorative patterns of various motifs, which are provided for Balinese residents of Brahmin descent, the highest caste in Hinduism.

Songket cloth is one type of traditional cloth associated with ritual worship. Therefore, songket weavers in the puri environment work on the basis of function and purpose. For each use, a different manufacturing process is needed.

Currently, the Bali songket can be used by all people for official events and religious events. Songket cloth is used for a variety of important ceremonies in the life cycle of the Balinese people, including tooth-cutting ceremonies, marriages, holidays, cremation, and religious ceremonies as well as in traditional events. Outside of traditional and religious ceremonies, songket is rarely used because the price is expensive, the fabric is heavier, and requires special care.

One of the areas in Bali that are the center of songket craft is Sidemen Village in Karangasem which also produces ikat cloth called endek cloth. Fabric weaving is a daily activity in almost every house in Sidemen village, which is routine as a weaver. Almost everyone in this village can weave, learn from their parents for generations.

However, as written by Kompas (4/28/2017), the current use of songket is no longer in accordance with its function due to economic pressure. The craftsmen only chase the cloth to sell quickly.

Bali Songket is increasingly eroded in this modernization era so that the potential it contains does not develop. Those who care about the existence of songket Bali have difficulty in regenerating craftsmen, designers, and even the supply of raw materials that must be imported.

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