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The Cloth

Indonesia textiles can be identified from variety of fabrics, materials, making technique or process, color and pattern of those textiles. In general, we can classified it into three major groups. * "Ikat" weaving. "Ikat" means to tie or bind, is used as the name for intricately patterned cloth which threads is made in many regions of the archipelago, from Sumatera to Maluku and Nusa Tenggara. It is an ancient art from tribes of Indonesia which has a strong ethnic identification. * "Songket" is an original Indonesian cloth with silk fabric as the based, and is patterned with gold or silver threads although these days imitative silver or gold is often used. Songket is most commonly found in West Sumatera, but can be seen in parts of Kalimantan and Bali. Gold threads is also used in embroidery for Islamic dress in Indonesia. * "Batik" The development of Batik in Indonesia is usually associated with the flowering of the creative art around the royal courts. The rise of Islam on Java probably contributed to the stylization of batik patterns and the absence of representations of living being as pattern for most design. More recently batik has grown from an art mainly associated with the royal courts into an important industry with a number of notable production centers. * ENDEK IKAT Nowadays the name of Endek become popular throughout Bali. Balinese commonly wears this cloth when attending or joining special occasion, such as temple festival, traditional wedding party and many kind of traditional activities held in this island. Many tourist now are interested with this ikat because of the pattern or motif, material and of course the quality of product giving confortable feeling to wear. For the traditionally made ikat, the price will be higher than made by machine.

Making Process

Using only wooden, hand-operated looms. It is a complex process resulting in patterns of geometric shapes or patterning of animals, people, faces, diamond design and etc. The technique of weaving with "Ikat" is a bit complex. In general we can simplify as follows.
* Make 2 frames exactly at the same size. One for patterning, and one for the actual weaving.
* On one frame the plain threads, normally white or gray is arranged around the frame very tidy and even. When the frame is wrapped by the threads now the patterns are outlined by tying the threads. Now weaver use this plastic strip to tie the threads to make pattern. After finish tying the spool of threads is taken out slowly without changing their position and dying it in preferred color. The untied part of the threads will get the dying color while the tied part is still as original color. If they wish another color, then they tie again the colored parts and dying the untied parts and so on until the preferred color finished.
* The other frame is for the base threads which is also put around the frame with exactly the same manner. If this threads base is not patterned and is immediately woven with the colored threads we call the technique is "single-ikat" technique, but if both the threads base and the colored threads are patterned we call the technique is"double-ikat" The first ikat fabrics were woven of silk, but in its development nowadays we find the textiles woven of cotton, rayon and blends as well as silk. An experienced skilled weaver can produce endek ikat up to meter a day using a wooden treadle.

Mechanized Process

The big factory can be found around Gianyar and Denpasar. At those factories have more then 100 employees. For a big order we suggest to deal with them. Small factories can also be found in Singaraja or Sidemen village in Kabupaten administration of Karangasem.

Cloth Materials

Endek is one of comfortable clothing material can be used for formal or informal occasion.
* For formal occasion now many companies using endek as their employee costume. If you stay in Bali, you will found some hotel staff using endek as their costume. Some corporates in Bali also order special endek pattern, bright color and eyes catching. The famous colors are red, blue, green, yellow, pink and some black or blue dark.
* For informal occasion commonly relating with relaxing moment or personal activities in Bali. Balinese prefer to wear endek as their cloths in the form of short sleeved, long sleeved, pans because of confortable feeling.


Price range between Rp 55.000 up to 200.000,- per meter. It is depend on the quality of the work. For special order with special pattern or motif, the price range will be varying. It is possible that one customizing the pattern as he wishes by consulting the producability of the designs, undeed with minimum pieces of production to cover their costs.


The largest factories lie along the Tourist road between Denpasar and Batubulan, Gianyar and Mas. Patal Tohpati is the biggest factory which is located only one km east of the Tohpati junction of Ngurah Rai Bypass and Balitex is the second largest factory available in Bali which is located only one km west of the Tohpati junction between Tohpati and Denpasar. Balitex operates shop on the premises selling both wholesale and retail. The smaller factories are available in Gianyar, Mas, Singaraja and Sidemen village. Around Gianyar and Klungkung Market. Anyone wish to know more about this traditional clothing product can send quiestion through clicking Contact Us above.

Written by I Made Wirajaya

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