Songket is a supplementary weft technique, the motif being created in the base weave during weaving. The pattern is defined by 250 - 300 extra heddles. Each of these lifts only those warp threads under which the supplementary weft must pass at a given point in the design. As weaving progresses, the pattern heddle in use changes and the design develops. Paired songket are worn by both sexes as wedding attire or during tooth filing rituals.
The peacock or green peafowl (Pavo muticus muticus) woven into this all natural dyed songket is called merak in Indonesian. This green peafowl is endemic to Southeast Asia and is now on the extinction list. Peacock images are found in carvings decorating temples in Java and on the batik textiles from this island. The god of war Skandas’ vehicle Parvani, a peacock is a pious and splendid bird that grips a serpent in its feet. The serpent also symbolizes the ego and desires of people. The peacock represents the destroyer of harmful habits and negative tendencies. As songket court dress, one can see how this extravagant animal would be highly desirable to integrate into the songket patterns.
Information about the makers will be supplied with each cloth. Supplementary weft patterning, two panels sewn together, silk threads used as base with cotton threads as patterning, natural dyes. Made in Bali, 2020. Size 188 x 103 cm / 74 x 40.5 in
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