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    Published On: Fri, Jun 7th, 2013

    Cual Bangka Traditional Woven Cloth

    Cual Bangka is a traditional woven cloth originating from Mentok,West Bangka. The island of Bangka, which sits off the eastern coast of Sumatra, is known for its cual cloth, a traditional textile woven with bright, bold silk and thread.

    The cloth is produced with the same techniques used for ikat , a similar Malaysian cloth that is dyed and woven; tie-dyed fabrics, which are prevalent in eastern Indonesia; and songket , which is embroidered with gold thread and can be found in Palembang, South Sumatra.

    The frist process of dipping thread for motif making is also called cual. The thread – which is also called Limar – is woven using a special weaving tool called Gedongan. The cloth is believed to have made its first appearance on the island in the 16th century, and Bangka still had plenty of weavers at the turn of the 20th century. But after World War I, the number of those producing high-quality cual out of silk and gold thread began to dwindle, due to a scarcity of materials.

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    Cual Bangka Traditional Woven Cloth

    The making of Cual Bangka can take 2 to 3 months and is primarily done in purple and red. It applied many decorative motives such as Bebek Bekandang, Kembang Setaman, Gajah Mada and many other. A piece of cual can take weeks or even months to dye and weave. Gold threads are also woven into the cloth, giving a shimmery ornamental frame to the mostly red, purple and dark blue pieces.

    Cual Bangka

    A piece of cual usually fetch from Rp 250,000 to Rp 19 million a piece, depending on the complexity of the motifs and the quality of the materials. “The most expensive cual has a motif that isn’t easy to create. Need at least three months to make such cloth. The length process of making the cual makes the price is quite expensive.

    You should have Cual as Souvenir or as your Collection because there’s several centuries-old cual cloths have made along with pieces bearing 20 traditional motifs such as the white egret and the kenanga flower motifs.

    Cual Bangka

    The cloth was traditionally exchanged in marriage ceremonies between the bride’s and groom’s families, and pieces were often handed from generation to generation as valued heirlooms. The cloth is also used to make women’s sarongs and traditional Malay attire for men, such as shirts, trousers and to make traditional headdresses called tanjak. In Palembang, Cual is more known as Songket.

    The unique thing about cual Bangka is the durable, there was a cual shawl that still look beautiful and durable after hundred of years! Cual traditional woven cloth is obviously on the top of the priority list. These special handmade textiles bear the authentic patterns of Bangka Island.

    If you wish to bring home a little piece of Bangka Island, the top of the priority list is Cual Bangka Traditional Woven Cloth.

    Written by:

    - who has written 13 posts on Tidar Bangka Belitung.


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