NUSA TENGGARA TEXTILES

Made up of a series of islands east of Bali, including Lombok, Komodo, Flores and Sumba, Nusa Tenggara is a treasure trove of textilemaking in Indonesia. The diversity of textiles in this region is truly astonishing, with each province featuring its own weaving traditions and varying production techniques that directly relate to its cultural and multi-ethnic influences and rich history.

A skill that is continuously passed on from generation to generation, ikat weaving is used to create textiles for different purposes, varying from island to island, with the double-weave ikat showcasing more complex sequences and colourful threads. The warp and weft are made separately, tied together and dyed, which requires great skill to ensure both coincide at the same place to achieve the desired imagery. The colours are vibrant – red, yellow, brown, indigo – each used in seasonal ceremonies and festivals, while the patterns often feature natural and mystical elements, such as flowers and spirits. Weavers also incorporate manta rays in cloth used during ritual dedications of outrigger boats heading out to sea.