endek fabricsThe word textile originally meant fabric made from woven fibers. Today the term signifies any of a vast number of fabrics produced by weaving, knitting, felting, and other techniques such ikat technique. The term ikat itself literally means “to bind”. This is a techniques of ornamenting a fabric. Thin fibers are wound around a thread before weaving, to protect these bound part from absorbing the dye into which the threads are dipped.
Three kinds of ikat may distinguished : ikat of the wrap, ikat of the weft, and ikat of all the threads. Those three kinds of ikat can be produced either by using floatingweft technique or to select technique are thread forming the pattern is woven in simultaneously with the thread which holds the fabric together (as a cross thread). The letter is ordinary weft threads are provided with shed sticks. Meanwhile the second technique actually closely resembles the first technique except that in this case the thread forning the pattern is passed through the threads of the warp where necessary with the aid of along spool.
As is custom, the world over, textiles are used to make articles of clothing. In particular clothes worn on festive occasions both sad and joy, for ritual ceremony, as well as clothes worn to identify the weaver as a member of a certain class or as a holder of a certain rank in community. But what make these tenun ikat so immensely significant is the special part they play in many important ceremonies and customs in the life of Indonesian peoples especially Balinese peoples. Certain fabrics have a sacral and or ceremonial function to fulfill at birth and death, at important event such as circumcision and filing the teeth (metatah) in custom connected with marriage, as well as certain rites observed when planting rice.
The Indonesian envisages not only the world of natures as male and female, but also the whole cosmos, including material objects. Sun and heaven are the masculine counterparts of moon and earth. Textiles represent the female element, whereas weapons, on the other hand, represent the male element when both are combined (with the weapon generally being a spear or keris, or it harmless substitute, a long stick, this becomes a symbol of universe as a whole. The carrying of fags and pennons, which is generally considered as merely a festive ornaments, or a means of expressing joy on some special occasion, the acquires a symbolic significance in the truest sense of the word.
Such significance attaches to the textiles not only of those peoples relatively unaffected by latter cultural influences, but also to those strongly permeated by Hinduism on Java and Bali island. On these islands certain textiles are still especially esteemed, in particular the old calico clothes produced by the tie-dyeing process which are deemed to possess special magic power.