This cloth comes from Bali and was made in the early 20th century.
It may look unassuming, but for those in the know, this is a powerful cloth that can fight off earthly and supernatural enemies.
Its name is geringsing. In the local language, “gering” means illness and “sing” means no.
Geringsing cloths are said to protect against bad luck and illness and is used for ceremonial purposes like marriage, cremation, religious processions, and a very important rite of passage for all Balinese — the tooth filing ceremony in which the bad traits found in everyone are symbolically filed away with a piece of bamboo— balancing the good and bad.
This cloth is woven by a method known as double ikat— an extremely complicated and time-consuming weaving technique in which both the horizontal and vertical threads have been resist-dyed and must line up perfectly during weaving to create specific patterns.
While various cultures around the world weave single ikat or weft ikat, double ikat is known only to 3 small villages in the world — they’re in India, Japan and Bali. And it’s believed the Balinese geringsing weavers learned the craft from Indian traders coming to Bali hundreds of years ago.
If you should be so lucky to come into possession of a geringsing, please do not cut into the white borders … it's believed the borders are a 'container' for the magic of the geringsing!
Showing up at the office with a ceremonial cloth to ward off bad juju may land you on a 'sabbatical' pretty darn fast but you can still add a touch of ikat to your personal style with these fab finds:
1. Carved wood floorlamp $138
3. Armless accent chair $120
4. Tribal silver earrings $17
5. Circus by Sam Edelman heels $60
Ikat adds an instant touch of glam to your home and wardrobe harkening far away lands and exotic travels. The patterns and colors are usually muted and oh-so-wearable.
It's the print for those who don't do print!
Cover photo: Dallas Museum of Art. Ceremonial Cloth (geringsing lubeng)
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