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  Textiles

Traditional Balinese textiles are renowned worldwide and admired by many for their beauty and sheer artistry. Balinese produce and sell textiles to satisfy tourist demand as well as to dress pleasingly before the gods in temple ceremonies and rites of passage.

Textiles are an integral part of every ritual or ceremony, from a toothfiling to a cremation, and incorporate powerful motifs and symbols. Color also plays a big role. It enables the Balinese to communicate with deities within the context of a religious event.

A priest dresses in white, the color of purity and shunye (the Cosmic Void), which allows him to communicate directly with sacred beings. Shiva's color, yellow, is worn by worshippers at almost any ceremony.

Dressing stylishly in sumptuous clothes is also a mark of social standing. You can often tell an aristocrat by the silk brocade she wears or the gold thread lining the 'sarung' of a Brahman man.

Two of Bali's largest textile factories lie along the main tourist artery between Denpasar and Batubulan, Gianyar, and Mas. PATAL is one km east of the Tohpati junction of the Nusa Dua Bypass road, and BALITEX is one km west of the Tohpati junction between Tohpati and Denpasar.

BALITEX operates a shop on the premises selling both wholesale and retail. Several other, smaller textile factories are in Gianyar, a favorite tourist stop, where also exist a number of textile showrooms.

Visit one of the garment factories to watch aisles of prepubescent teenagers dribbling wax designs over cloth, then dipping the shirts into cisterns filled with hot, bubbling, frothing dye. It takes an average of six hours to weave a 'sarung'.

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