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Gold Cloths of Sumatra: Indonesia's Songkets from Ceremony to Commodity

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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 techniqu 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, living, even expanding art form, asthis textile type captures the attention of new markets in an Indonesian public culture that is both tradition-minded and obsessed with modernity and middle class success. Gold Cloths of Sumatra combines the interpretive approaches of textile scholarship and cultural anthropology to explore songket aesthetics, as this remarkable shining gold cloth moves beyond ceremonial contexts to become a hot item as a marketable commodity, for sale as heritage textile and collectible. Chapters focus on contemporary songket craft by Minangkabau, Palembang, and Jambi weavers, set against a background of nineteenth-century songket weaving excellence. As commodities, present-day Sumatran songkets show high levels of weaving creativity and technical brilliance, making songkets a resilient art."


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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 techniqu 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, living, even expanding art form, asthis textile type captures the attention of new markets in an Indonesian public culture that is both tradition-minded and obsessed with modernity and middle class success. Gold Cloths of Sumatra combines the interpretive approaches of textile scholarship and cultural anthropology to explore songket aesthetics, as this remarkable shining gold cloth moves beyond ceremonial contexts to become a hot item as a marketable commodity, for sale as heritage textile and collectible. Chapters focus on contemporary songket craft by Minangkabau, Palembang, and Jambi weavers, set against a background of nineteenth-century songket weaving excellence. As commodities, present-day Sumatran songkets show high levels of weaving creativity and technical brilliance, making songkets a resilient art."

6 review for Gold Cloths of Sumatra: Indonesia's Songkets from Ceremony to Commodity

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