Note: before I made the title of this post, I had searched, what is the difference between fabric and cloth. I found the use of these words are similar and are often used interchangeably. So, I chose as you can read title for this post (a-not-so-important-information-but-still-I-want-to-tell-you-because-I-just-want-to).
A few days ago, we went to Klungkung regency, one of the 8 other regencies in Bali province to buy some endek: the traditional woven Balinese cloth. Next week, on 11th June there will be the opening ceremony for the 38th Bali Arts Fetsival 2016. I will be the Master of Ceremony (and also the commentator) for the official ceremony of the parade, so I want to wear something special for this major arts and cultural event that will be attended by local, national and international audiences. This opening ceremony is opened for public where they can see an arts and cultural processions, this year (2016) are presented by the 8 regencies and Denpasar city, other provinces in Indonesia, and two foreign guests (France and India participants).
Back to Klungkung, actually, it is not the only regencies and city in Bali that produce endek. Each of them has their own style and beauty of this woven cloth. I chose Klungkung, because my colleague said that she knew a store has its own endek workshop with traditional Balinese loom! I have planned for a while about introducing endek as one of the Balinese style of cloth to my readers. The Balinese people usually used it for kamen (to wrap around your lower part of body) combined with kebaya, blouse, or shirts (for the gentlemen), schools or office uniform, traditional (both religious or non-religious) ceremonies and other special occasions.
So, we went to Semarapura, the capital city of Klungkung regency, took about half an hour from Denpasar by Ida Bagus Mantra bypass. This small workshop was started in 2009 and are frequently invited to join exhibitions, including the Bali Arts Festival exhibition, located at the Arts Centre (Tamana Budaya) of Denpasar. Although it is quite small but loaded with kind of endek clothes, cotton thread and silk thread, cheap endek and exclusive ones. I asked for the latest version of Mastuli and Ketut Sriani (the owner) shown this beautiful cloth, named kristik Mastuli. Kristik probably derived from the words of Cross Stitch (Distance from England to Indonesia, need thousands miles, no wonder the words of Cross Stitch mutated into an almost unrecognisable one: kristik…) and it does not even involve any skills of cross stitching, but weaving threads. I think, it is the flowers motives are inspired from structure of cross stitch. Meanwhile Mastuli refers to the thread material used that is silk.
From the very beginning (dye the white silk thread with colours) to a piece of beauty, Endek Mastuli needs 1 month and a half. Its price is more expensive than the cotton thread. But, I can tell you, if you buy something from the source, like endek workshop or manufacture you will get first price that is cheaper than the market, city boutiques or those small shops around your hotel. The uniqueness of Mastuli, it always has brilliant colour, but still elegant, light, soft, good to be worn if you want to catch some attention from others.
I chose the golden one and decorated with colourful flowers that is still weaved in the loom. Ketut said in the next 2 days, this cloth would be finished. So, I can say I will wear a delicate allure that is fresh from the loom!