Songket is typically woven fabric that belongs to Malay ethnics of Indonesia. The word Songket is derived from some theories like from Malaysia is taken from the word Sungkit, which means to hook. Other says that it comes from the word Songka, a Palembang cap in gold threads that becomes the first woven. As we know, the making of Songket is including the way to hook and to pick a group of threads and slip the gold and silver threads in it.
Indonesian people are gifted with endless imagination and deeply artistic skills, and lovers of traditional textiles know that some of the most exotic handmade textiles on the planet have been made throughout the archipelago for hundreds of years. There is an amazing variety of unique cloth being produced in different areas throughout Indonesia, but one very special cloth that has come to be regarded as the indisputable Queen of Handwoven Textiles is known as Songket, and nowhere is it more highly developed than it is in the area around Palembang, South Sumatra.
The songket-weaving is a traditional craft work. It has been known already since the Sriwijaya period. The materials utilized are usually gold and silk yarns. The original characteristics of Palembang songket can be detected by observing the motives on those textiles. According to the applied decorative motives and their designs, the motives reflects roses, chained stars, waves and bamboo-shoots. Several names of songket weaving are known as Songket Lepus, Songket Naga Berdaung, Songket Bunga jatuh, Songket Bunga Cina, Songket Bertabut, Songket janda berhias, etc.
Songket is a luxurious textile that is handwoven in silk or cotton, and intricately patterned with gold or silver threads. The metallic threads stand out against the background cloth to create a shimmering effect that is absolutely exquisite. Creating a single piece of songket is highly laborious work and it is amazing to consider that even the most intricate of designs are stored in the weaver’s memory and produced with very simple, traditional looms, as this intangible heritage is passed down from generation to generation.
Palembang songket sarongs are not used daily, but at certain ceremonial events only, e.g. at traditional (adapt), wedding, religious ceremonies. The songket weaving are available in the form of sarong, shawl and headcloth. In latest development songket weaving are produced for various outfits of divans, back and seat of chairs, table coats, bags etc. Because of the luxurious threads used and because of the complex motifs created.
Songket Palembang is well known to be one of the most expensive handwoven cloths on earth, yet the market demand is always high because this sacred textile is imbued with so much traditional philosophy associated with life’s rites of passage starting from birth to marriage to giving birth to death. Songket is a ceremonial cloth of intense beauty that only comes out during important moments or periods of transition in one’s life. Here in kainsongketpalembang.com you can find and choose hand-woven Songket in our gallery.
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