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Looking stylish and spot-on in Indonesian ‘wastra’

Audrie Safira Maulana

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Sun, November 17, 2019  /  04:16 pm
Looking stylish and spot-on in Indonesian ‘wastra’

Glamor: A mini fashion show, depicting traditional cloths worn in classical and contemporary styles inspired by the book, is staged. (University of Indonesia Library/-)

The recognition of batik as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity on Oct. 1, 2009, which also marked National Batik Day, has expanded the market for the traditional cloth as Indonesians now wear batik shirts or dresses, or even kebaya, to work. Other traditional cloths from different regions in the country, mainly those made with hand-weaving techniques or ikat, have also gained momentum in the fashion industry as artisans and designers develop them with lighter fabrics and modern patterns. Such traditional textiles, known as wastra, include songket, which is associated with the Melayu culture in Sumatra and Kalimantan, ulos of North Sumatra, and wide varieties of ikat from the eastern part of Indonesia with Bali’s ikat geringsing as the most intricate. Not many people, however, know that the word wastra itself c...