Sunday, August 1, 2010

A pictorial of ikat weaving

On our tour of the ikat weaving yesterday, we saw the three different types from simple to very complex. We saw them in order, which was very helpful

This is a simple mechanical loom. You can see the pattern this woman is weaving and it’s relatively simple. She uses here foot to raise and lower the warp (long) threads and then shoots the shuttle across. It’s still an ikat so that means the weft thread has a pattern on it, but basic.

This is more complex loom but operating on the same principle as the one above. However, in this ikat, there is a much more complex pattern on the weft threads and the weaver must make sure she lines up the pattern. How does the pattern get onto the weft? see below – it’s dyed before she gets it and dyed by tying little bits of string around bundles of thread and dipping it into dye. There’s alot of precision required in this to make sure the pattern stays intact!

This is the weft being dyed. This guy is untying some of the ties so that the next colour can be applied. This will eventually get untied, dried and unravelled to become a weft thread for the loom above.

This is a backstrap loom and the weaver sits on the floor. The weave is still an ikat but it has a supplementary weft – ie a normal weft and then an additional colour or colours woven in. It’s very complex and the sticks at the top of her loom all hold the patterns for lifting the warp threads to enable the weave to happen. It will take her up to 2 months to finish about 15 metres of cloth. Not surprisingly, these are the most expensive textiles.

And here is the one that I now own - woven on a backstrap loom. That's William from Threads of Life holding up the textile - he's very tall by the way so I'm guessing this a 2 metre length. On the right is Ida Ayu Puniari, an authority on sacred bebali textile and the owner of this weaving place.

1 comment:

  1. What an extraordinary adventure you are having--I am VERY envious! Please, can we see some close up photos of the piece you bought?