A prized example of Balinese Double Ikat. Note the resemblance to Indian Patola trade textiles which influenced the patterning. Thanks to the Tenganan Villagers for participating in this film.
In this short documentary commissioned by the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, Studio Galli travels to the Balinese village of Tenganan to discover how double ikat textiles, known as geringsing, are made. Gering means “sick” and sing means “no.” According to ancient Balinese legend, Geringsing are prized for their ability to ward off evil and sickness.
There are few village communities in the world today who can still produce high grade double ikat. The pattern is transferred to the individual yarns before weaving. Normally only one direction carries the pattern — either the warp or the weft; having the pattern flow in both the warp and the weft means there must be tight control in both the marking of the patterns in the yarns, the resist dyeing process, as well as the tension during the weaving to create precise looking imagery.
As with many native handicraft, the value is derived in the complexity of the process and the years of skill required to become a master artist. Producing double ikat in the village of Tenganan is really a spiritual and social practice; while some sales to museums, collectors and tourists help sustain the handicraft, the cloth is a vital part of the customs and ceremonies of this close-knit community.
The island of Bali is quite beautiful. There are many opportunities to explore valleys and coastal regions that are largely untouched by visitors, and even the tourist attractions such as the Tirta Gangga Water Gardens — a former Royal Palace in Eastern Bali have something special to offer.
Once we completed the film for the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, the museum staff were gracious in providing additional funds so we could present a commemorative DVD to each of the villagers who participated in the project.
Whether you are in Bali for textiles, or the monkey forest, or the beaches and nightlife of Kuta, you are sure to find some remarkable values for accommodations. Our favorite is the Saka Village, a walking distance to the busting markets of Ubud, and very affordable at about $19 USD per night.