a pleasure-hunting monkey.

Traditional Fabric Hunting in Indonesia

Most people plan their holiday to do their hobbies. Some of them are taking beautiful photographs, while others are doing culinary hunting or souvenir hunting. Visiting so many regions in Indonesia, one of the interesting things to do might to know and learn the traditional fabric from each region as well as enjoying the beauty panoramic scenes.

Almost every tribe in Indonesia has their own traditional fabric they wore as their daily or special attire as the identity of their culture. Each regions and each tribes has their own characteristic. If the traditional fabrics in Java are mostly Batik, other regions have woven fabric. The similarities of those traditional fabrics are they come from home industry and made by women at their home. They usually made those fabrics for daily clothes. But now, the traditional fabric became one of the attractions and souvenir from the regions.

Batak Ulos at Lumban Suhi-suhi village.

Batak people in North Sumatra is renown for Ulos fabric. While visiting Samosir island, Lumban Suhi-suhi village is a destination where you can find the Ulos makers and see the process of Ulos making.

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The daily life of woman weaver at Lumban Suhi-suhi.

Women at the village are usually weaving the fabrics in front of their houses. A piece of Ulos cloth measuring 200 x 80 cm takes around a week. The process of making Ulos starts with the starching and rolling of the threads, which are then spun with a traditional tool. To give the color to the threads, those traditional weavers utilize natural materials found in their local environment like mud, roots, leaves or grass.

The cloth’s pattern, size and thread quality determine the price of ulos. Somehow, you can find a weaver selling her old fabric more expensive than the one she just finished. It is also because the fabric has its own history. For example, it is a family heirloom.

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A Karo fabric made at Lumban Suhi-suhi.

Even though the village is located near Lake Toba, where most people are from Batak Toba sub-tribe, Lumban Suhi-suhi ladies are also producing uis nipes and other fabrics from Batak Karo sub-tribe which region is 135 kilometer away from them. Asides with the fabric, you can enjoy the view of traditional houses at the village that preserve by the residents.

Baduy fabric at Kanekes village.

Baduy traditional fabric is a traditional fabric in Java that is not categorized as a batik
fabric. Baduy people calls it Tinunan. It is a woven fabric made by the local women at
Baduy village.

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Simple Pattern of Tinunan.

Located in Lebak regency of Banten, you may stay or spend some nights in Baduy village to see and learn about Baduy fabric. The area of Baduy people renown as one of unique villages in Indonesia where the local residents maintain a traditional way
of life and resist the encroachment of the modern world. It is also applied for the
way they made their traditional fabric, made only from the nature sources around
and using the human power.

Tinunan has simple patterns. It is usually the colorful small lines or box-shaped
pattern from the set of lines. Most of the Tinunan are for woman scarf or shawl. But for Baduy Dalam (inner Baduy), Tinunan is also made for their daily clothes or for the ceremony.

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Weaving Tinunan as a mother-daughter activity.

Weaving Baduy traditional fabric is the women activity in the village. Every mother of
each family teaches their daughter to weave the fabric. So, the view of woman or mother and daughter weaving the traditional fabric with back-strap loom (pakara) is a common view at Baduy.

Cirebon Batik at Trusmi village.

Like many other batik-producing cities in Java, Cirebon has its own unique batik design, which is called the megamendung motif. It looks like the rain clouds and is usually painted in striking colors. It is heavily influenced by Chinese cultures, brought into the city by Chinese traders centuries ago. Cirebon Batik is categorized as the coastal batik (batik pesisiran) because of the geographical location of Cirebon.

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We can say that the charm of Cirebon Batik is because of its bright colors, which got the influence of the Chinese culture. While traveling around Cirebon, we can see that the mega mendung batik fabrics are still worn by members of the Cirebon royal family until today. Mega mendung is just one of the more than 300 batik motifs Cirebon has nowadays. Other Cirebon batik motifs include the piring selampat, the kapal kandas, and the bunga terompet (allamanda).

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Make a visit to the masters. Maybe you can see  their masterpieces.

Kampung Trusmi in Cirebon is the best place you can find those various types of Cirebon batik. As you walk along the Buyut Trusmi avenue, there are more stores and some houses where the local batik craftsmen are painting the batik fabrics. There, you can also buy batik fabrics and learn batik-painting directly from the masters.

Geringsing Fabric at Tenganan village

Tenganan village is a traditional Balinese village in Karang Asem, Bali, which can be reach after 60 minutes of driving from Denpasar. Geringsing fabric process is definitely one of the things you can see and learn while visiting the village, asides with the local’s ceremony and other cultural activities.

The fabric made by the cotton threads that made by the kapas keling (black cotton). It a good color absorber. There are only three colors made for the fabrichs. They are red, black and white.

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The hand-made cotton thread before turned into Geringsing fabric.

There are more than 20 patterns from Geringsing fabric such as cakra, kabeng (scorpion), cemplong and cecempakan flowers, pitola and wayang kebo. The latter, which depicts a buffalo puppet, is said to be the hardest to make and is as such the most expensive.

Tenganan women passed down their skills to make Geringsing fabric. The local Tenganan people regularly use it annually for their ritual, such as the new year celebration Ngusaba Kasa. Moreover the Balinese from outside the village buy the fabrics for their attire on their religious ceremonies.

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Geringsing fabric worn at Ngusaba Kasa ceremony.

Tourists are also able to buy Geringsing as a souvenir from Tenganan village.

Flores Ikat at Bena village.

Bena is a megalithic village in Ngada regency in Flores island where you can find the megalithic stones surrounded by 45 traditional houses. While visiting Bena village, some houses may showcasing traditional woven fabrics at their house terrace (teda moa).

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Traditional Ikat fabric at a terrace and the megalithic stone at Bena.

Local women at the village are weaving their traditional fabrics and selling them as the souvenir to the visitors.

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Me with my traditional fabric in front of the hand-made Ikat.

Bena woven fabric usually called as Ikat. Ikat is usually has the black, dark blue and red accent with the red and yellow by the edge. It also has pattern which symbolize the message of on it. Some of the common patterns are the jara patterns which is a horse-shaped pattern, wa’i manu the chicken feet-shaped pattern, and ghi’u or the lines patterns.

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