Geringsing With Embroidery

Geringsing is a sacred cloth and an important power object. Used during ceremonial occasions, it is worn as shoulder, breast or waistcloth. It is easily recognized by the handspun cotton, loose weave and muted color scheme of brown, orange, black and off white.

Geringsings are decorated in a double ikat technique, which is very labor-intensive and expensive. It is practiced in three places- Japan, India and the village of Tenganang in Bali, where this geringsing is from. In the ikat technique, the yarns get tie-dyed before they are woven, a process that can be repeated with different colors. The simplest ikats are the ones that are warp tie-dyed. The weft ikats are more complicated as the shuttled back and forth weft yarns need to be pulled individually into the registered design. In double ikat, they need to be aligned with the vertical yarns as well, making a clear image  hard to achieve.

In Indonesian textiles, realism is very rare and not the perceived objective. This example, one of about 20 different styles of them, consists of semi-circular areas, defined by the rays of the large star-shaped motif with a stepped rectangle in the center.The semi-circular areas contain groups of human figures seated on pedestals. The characters are reminiscent of the shape of Wayang shadow puppets, though the busy drawing makes it all hard to decipher. This piece has metallic thread embroidery work at ends to accentuate the design further.The embroidery, just like the ikat, is double sided.


Circa: 19th Century

Origin: Bali, Indonesia

Material: Cotton with metallic thread embroidery

Condition: Excellent

Dimensions: 21" X 83"

Inventory number: TX4878



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