Glossary

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  • Braiding

    Interlacing three or more yarns or yarn bundles by hand to make a coherent structure called a ‘braid’ or ‘plait’. Braiding is commonly used to make ropes, as well as to make neat fringes on some textiles.

  • Bride-Wealth

    Goods that are part of a ‘bride’s wealth’ or dowry. In the indonesian archipelago most traditional marriages, which take place within tightly knit communities, are accompanied by the exchange of such goods in a predetermined pattern. Typically, handwoven textiles pass from the bride’s family to the groom’s family, while precious heirlooms such as metal swords, water buffalo, and elephant ivory pass in the opposite direction.

  • Brocade
    In strict technical weaving terms, brocade refers to discontinuous supplementary-weft patterning. Often in silk and metal threads, as in the sumptuously Indonesian and Malay songket. The term is also used more loosely by some authors for cloth with multi-colored designs that are added during weaving.
  • Buginese People
    A distinct ethnic group from southern Sulawesi, many of whom are coast-dwellers and seafarers.
  • Buna
    A term for supplementary weft wrapping, used in parts of Timor.
  • Bunga (Indonesia)
    Flower, a generic term for a motif.
  • Calendering
    A finishing process by which a smooth surface is produced on cloth. Various surface treatments may be used, including applying coating materials and rolling or hammering. Also called polishing or glazing.
  • Camelid Hair
    Hair obtained from camelid species, including camels, llamas and alpacas.
  • Cantilever Frame
    A type of frame loom characterized by heddles and/or reed that are supported by a cantilever structure, attached to posts at the back of the loom.
  • Canting

    A small tool used for ‘drawing’ on cloth with hot wax. A reservoir made of copper holds the hot wax, which flows onto the fabric via a copper nib. This tool is used for applying fine detail to cloth during the batik process.

  • Cap
    A copper stamp, usually made from small pieces of copper sheet, cut and soldered to form motifs, used for printing wax resists during the making of batik.
  • Card Weaving

    A technique for weaving narrow bands and strips, and starting borders for some kinds of weaving. Warps pass through a pack of plates or cards with holes in that lie parallel to the warp. The cards are rotated to move warps up and down, to open and close sheds for weft insertion. Card looms are usually body-tensioned, with a cloth beam attached to the weaver’s waist. Also known as tablet weaving.

  • Carpet

    A textile designed as a floor covering. Carpets may use knotting techniques to create pile or they may be “flatwoven” using techniques such as tapestry. Synonym: rug.

  • Cat

    A feline critter

  • Chaîne Opératoire

    (French) A fancy word for “process”, such as the process for making a textile.

  • Chintz
    A Western term for multi-colored trade cloths exported from India made by a complex process involving block printing and freehand application of mordant resist. They were prized for their intricate designs and strong, clear reds and blues. Chintz, also known as kain batik India in the archipelago and sarasa in Japan, were made with different patterns and formats to suit the taste of the intended markets. Those that found their way into the archipelago influenced batik production and other regional styles.
  • Cinnabar
    Naturally occurring mercury sulfide (hgs). It is ground to form a brilliant red pigment (vermillion).
  • Circular Warp
    A warp that is mounted on the loom as a continuous loop, and that results in a textile that is in tubular form (usually with a short section of unwoven warp).
  • Circular Warp

    A warp that is wound in a circular fashion between a warp beam and a cloth beam, and then woven in the same fashion to make a tubular piece of cloth (usually with a short section of unwoven warp). The cloth must normally be cut after removing it from the loom, but on occasions it may be used as-is without cutting, as happens with some lamalera bride-wealth cloths on the island of lembata.

  • Clasped Heddle
    See bidirectional heddle.