There Are Only Three Double Weaves in the World, One of Them in Bali

Visiting Bali would not be complete without buying some souvenirs. One of the souvenirs that you can consider to buy is Balinese traditional woven.

One of the well-known fabric crafts is the gringsing fabric from the Tenganan area located in Karangasem district.

One unique fact about the Gringsing cloth, the ancestors of the Tenganan region made gringsing weaving as a talisman to repel danger .

This weaving is also proof of the Tenganan's high ancestral civilization in its time because gringsing weaving is not ordinary weaving. Kain Gringsing uses a famous double tie technique that requires high level of expertise and patience.

It's so hard, in the world there are only three countries that produce double weaving, namely Japan, India and Indonesia. In Indonesia, fabric made with this technique is only available in Tenganan Village.

The process of making gringsing weaving itself is quite complicated. One sheet of fabric can even take 2-5 years of work using traditional looms.

So it is not surprising if the most respected laborers in Tenganan Village are weaving workers. Because the process of making woven fabric is very difficult and not everyone can make it.

The Process of making Gringsing woven

The process of making gringsing cloth starts from the yarn spinning process. After finishing spinning, the yarn will experience a soaking process in hazelnut oil before proceeding to the binding and coloring process.

The immersion can last more than 40 days up to a maximum of one year by replacing immersion water every 25-49 days. The longer the immersion, the thread will be stronger and softer.

Thread used for Gringsing is soaked in coloring for two years to get the perfect result

The yarn is then spun into a cloth that has a certain length (pakan) and width (lungsi). To close the woven results, the yarn will be pushed using bat bones. The finished fabric will be bound by the tie-up following a specified pattern. The binding process uses two colors of raffia straps, namely jambon (latrine) and light green. Each bond will be opened according to the color dyeing process to produce the appropriate motifs and coloring.

The process of structuring threads, binding, and coloring is done on the side of the warp and feed, so that the technique is called double tie.

In ordinary ikat weaving techniques, generally only the pakan is given a motif, while the lungsi is only use plain thread, or vice versa. The pattern made on the fabric must be treated with skill and precision so that each color in the warp will meet the same color on the feed and produce a fabric motif that looks firm.

Mistakes in weaving must be as minimal as possible. Because, a misstep can damage the motif of the weaving and must be repeated. This is what makes Gringsing fabric so difficult to make and not just anyone can do it.

Because it was very difficult, in 1971 there was only one family that could weave these gringsing weaves. The coloring process used to take eight years. Overall process could take 10 years. Now fabric is made at least one year. Even so, there are currently quite a number of families now who can also weave this cloth.

If you are interested in buying gringsing woven fabric, come directly to Tenganan Pegringsingan Village. But don't be surprised by the fantastic price.

The price ranges from Rp. 900,000 to hundreds of millions of rupiah, or around 60-65 dollars for the lowest price. Even so the price is fairly reasonable, considering the process of fabric that takes a very long time, requires precision and high level of expertise.

Gringsing cloth with the most expensive motif is a wayang motif, because the manufacturing process is far more complicated than other motifs. This kind of fabric can sometimes reach hundreds of millions of rupiah, especially if it's made long time ago.