Sometimes it is quite hard to describe how diverse and beautiful the traditional fabrics that we have here in Indonesia. First of all, there are a lot (I said, A LOT of it), based on the area and provinces.Second of all, there is a story behind each and every traditional fabric in Indonesia. We will need hours and hours to do some research and enjoy the beauty of them all. But for now, let’s start slowly by learning some of the most famous traditional fabrics here, that are starting to catch the eyes of tourists and also Indonesia’s own designers and citizens.
Although each tribe actually has fabrics with different names, this fabric that originally comes from NTT is called kain Timor. There are various functions for this fabric: as daily clothing, to show status, and for custom events.
Kain Sutra Bugis (also frequently called kain Sengkang) is quite special, because it is made of silk with a series of beautiful threads of gold and silver. This fabric, originating from Makassar, is usually used to match Bodo clothes (traditional costume of South Sulawesi). There are lots of colors going in one kain Sutra Bugis, but they still look charming and elegant. This might be because of their checkered pattern. A long time ago, the pattern can indicate whether a Bugis is married or not. The Balo Renni pattern (small and bright) were worn by unmarried women, and Balo Lobang (bigger checks and golden red color) were worn by unmarried men.
Kain Gringsing comes from Tenganan, Bali. Gringsing itself comes from the word “Gring” which means sick, and “Sing” which means to prevent. So that is why kain Gringsing is considered to be like a repellent for sickness or can cure a disease for those who wear it. Producin kain Gringsing is not easy. Since this is the only Indonesian traditional fabric that is made using double-weaving technique and the process was all done by hand. It takes about 2 to 5 years to produce!
Lurik is a traditional fabric that comes from Solo and Yogyakarta. A few years ago, it was rumored to be almost extinct, as the Lurik craftsmen had begun to dwindle. Fortunately, Lurik, that used to be known only as a cheap fabric because it is only made of ordinary cotton, is now widely used as an additional element in shirts, kebaya, and even dresses. Some designers have also made kain Lurik works with a modern twist. Lurik’s pattern is also very unique, a classic stripes, so it is easy to use for daily wear.
The techniques that are used to make kain Jumputan is by binding and dyeing, where the fabric is first tied then dipped in a variety of beautiful colors. This Jumputan technique is now beginning to become famous again, and they are not only used for the main fabric for kebaya. Kain Jumputan is beginning to often be designed into a variety of more fashionable and modern clothes.
See? There are a lot of Indonesian traditional fabrics, and aside from making them a valuable collection, these fabrics are also very pretty to be worn to important events. Never underestimate traditional Indonesian fabrics, because if you can wear it in a fashionable way, these fabrics can definitely worn by anybody 🙂 We still have a lot more articles about Indonesian traditional fabric, so you should come back again tomorrow!
for Indonesian Traditional Fabric Part I, click here.