Indonesian fabrics turned into comfy and stylish cushions
Indonesian textiles are significant art forms deeply embedded in ceremonial practices. The distinctive textiles are worn or exchanged during rites of passage, such as celebrating birth, circumcision, puberty, marriage, childbearing, and death. Traditionally, spinning, dyeing, and weaving were tasks performed by women. They often symbolize creation.
Visiting the stacks of fabrics in forgotten corners of tiny shops in Denpasar surely made our trip worthwhile. Hearing the amazing stories of how each fabric was made by local artisans inspired us to produce the Fabrics of Indonesia collection and hopefully revive the forgotten culture of textile art
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Our Fabrics of Indonesia collection transcends the traditional cushion styles
Ikat fabric is one of the main materials used in this collection. Ikat is the traditional method of textile patterning in which a bundle of threads is bound tightly before being dyed and then intricately woven into a fabric with symbolic designs. Ikat is considered to be one of the oldest forms of textile art in Indonesia. When translated into English language, Ikat literally means “bind”. It is associated most with the Malay people of Nusa Tengarra, who still wear Ikat in their ceremonial clothes and their everyday wear. Ikat is popular in the islands east of Bali, such as Lombok, Sumbawa, and Sumba. The colours of Ikat are produced from plants and trees. I have spent many hours bartering and buying in different markets, shops, and homes in this country. Check out our blog about my wonderful trip to the markets of Bali.
Indonesian artistry expressed through fabrics
Apart from Ikat, Indonesia is also deemed famous for two types of fabric: Batik and Songket. Batik is originally made by drawing a pattern on a piece of white cloth (cotton or silk). Parts of the pattern were covered with wax, using a “canting” which is a hollow pen-like instrument, with a small cup for melted wax on the top. The cloth was then immersed in dye. The word “batik” is thought to be derived from the word “ambatik” which means “a cloth with little dots”. Another Javanese phase for the mystical experience of making batik is “mbatik manah” which means “drawing a batik design on the heart”.
Songket is a kind of textile found mostly in Sumatra. Songket involves weaving gold and silver threads into the fabric. The patterns are mostly either floral, or geometric. The area around Padang and Bukitinggi is famously associated with Songket.
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