The sirat is a scantier but more elaborate loincloth than the sarong. It is also rather more secure than the sarong, and less inclined to hamper the legs when running or dancing, so it is favoured by young active people, especially those who have reason to be proud of their physiques. The sirat is less informal than the sarong, "dressy" but cool and light. The sirat is worn by dancers and often by musicians, and is affected by some devotees of Amaranth and Jolian.

The sirat is made of a long narrow strip of fine cloth, typically a span (~23 cm) wide and ten or eleven spans (2.3 to 2.5 metres) long. The colour is usually bright, and the ends are sometimes fringed, tasselled, or decorated with embroidery, batik, or tie-dyeing. One end is held against the chest while the other is passed between the legs, twice around the waist, and secured at the back by tucking it through, leaving the end to hang down at the back. Then the first end is dropped to hang down at the front.


Copyright © 1991 by Brett Evill. All rights reserved.