The island of Sumatra is famous for a diverse range of traditional fabrics: in the form of songket, typical of Minangkabau and Palembang, ulos from the Batak people, and then there is tapis from Lampung.
Tapis is traditionally crafted cloth commonly used by women in Lampung, a province on Sumatra’s southern coast. The finished garment, resembling a sarong, is the result of woven cotton yarn decorated with ornamental- and floral-motif needlework (traditional techniques) or embroidery (modern techniques) using gold, silver or silk thread. Unsurprisingly, the more needlework, the more expensive it will be.
Because of geographical influences, Lampung people are divided into two communities, namely Saibatin (coastal) and Pepadun (rural). This division is visible in the motifs of the tapis cloth: Saibatin work showcases motifs of ships or boats, while the people of Pepadun highlight flora and fauna motifs.
To see the beauty of this craft up close, visit Katon State Village in Pesawaran District, which is also known as ‘Tapis Village’. In addition, these beautiful fabrics can be found at the Ruwa Jurai Shop, Putra Indonesia, Ninda Tapis, Singgah Pai and Bambu Kuning Market. The Lampung tapis cloth can also be obtained from the Lampung Provincial National Craft Council (Dekranasda) in Bandar Lampung city