Monday, January 23, 2012

Endek : Balinese Traditional Cloth

As a Balinese, I'm very proud to stay and have so many unique things here. I'll introduce you one of those uniqueness, Endek. Every Balinese people must have endek fabrics or we call it here, Kamen Endek or in Bahasa we say Kain Endek. You can read more about Endek here :

"In the past, endek cloths were generally the prerogative of the princely courts and aristocratic families with regard to both production and use. These clothes have since undergone a process of democratization so that personal distinctions can no longer be made on the basic of textiles alone. They are also social badges.
Nowadays Bali endek is created and produced not only for the tourist who come to Bali, but also for the overseas markets. Very often the design is created by collaboration between foreigners and Balinese but still maintaining the traditional patterns. But the culture the way of life and the religious activities of Balinese are too strong to compromise even the pattern of their endek, so the buyers should adjust their taste."

"Endek is a Balinese weft ikat cloth. It is a woven, tie-dyed weft cloth. Balinese endek is tied and dyed before the threads are woven into cloth. In preparing endek, the weft or cross threads are dyed ; the warp, the threads that are initially strung on the loom, are left in a solid color. To prepare the pattern, the weft threads are temporarily strung on a frame and workers use strips of plastic tape to tie a pattern, into the threads. The threads are taped off in bunches, and then the threads are removed from the frame and soaked in vast of dye. They are dried, the tape removed, and the thread is spun onto the shuttle. When the dyed threads are woven into a loom set up with a solid warp, the design reappears. Because the warp threads are taped off in bunches, and because perfect registration of the design is impossible, the finished endek pattern has an attractive, fuzzy edged look."

ENDEK : in the past (19 th-20 th centuries) they are courtly symbols of status. Today they are worn by Balinese as national shirt.
SONGKET : Golden threads expressing caste and privilege.
PERADA : Gilded garments for humans, Gods, an temple.
BEBALI : Bonderlines between the sacred and the profane.
KELING : Archaic clothes from Nusa Penida island.
POLENG : The dualism motif black and white.
GERINSING : Cloth with magical protection expressing communal identity.

Now, the Denpasar government make a program for all the Denpasar citizen to wear Endek in every formal occasion. Not just formal occasion, by the way. Endek can be worn in any occasion. Endek commonly worn by government's installations such as teachers, the governments itself and employees.

My mom has a lot of Kamen Endek in her closet. Today, I borrowed some of them. And I've done some sketches using Endek pattern which I captured from my mom's. I hope these will be inspiring for you, dear readers. I 100% agree with the government's program. If you visit Bali, don't forget to buy Kamen Endek. But, you have to ask and find out more first, because some Endek are made for government's installations. I'm sure you won't be the same :)

Endek collar shirt and black leather mini skirt

60's dress

Nebula print dress combined with endek pattern and endek outerwear

My endek midi dress

Here some pictures that I used for pattern in my sketches above.





Yes, endek can be so fashionable. Just need a creativity and the right hands to make it as an amazing clothes. Endek is so wearable and if you want to make a dress from endek, you should give attention to the materials of endek. Better you use the cotton material because it doesn't make you get sweaty.

Love, Wita :)


  1. nice designs :D

  2. Are you a designer? Do you havewebsite?
    Do you know where to get good cotton endek in Bali?


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