Gold Cloths of Sumatra: Indonesia's Songkets from Ceremony to Commodity
Songket textiles are gleaming prestige cloths created when hand-loom weavers add metal-wrapped threads across the weft to build up intricate motif bands of geometric and botanical designs. The supplementary wefts are gold-wrapped silk or fine cotton yarns; silver-wrapped threads are also found in some of Indonesia's old songket weaving regions. Employing a weaving technique that is hundreds of years old in Malaysia, Sumatra, coastal Kalimantan, and east Bali and nearby islands, songket artistry is a thriving art form. Chapters focus on contemporary songket craft by Minangkabau, Palembang and Jambi weavers, set against a background of nineteenth-century songket weaving excellence.
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