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Jakarta Post

Urban Chat: Telling the tale of traditional textiles

  • Lynda Ibrahim

Jakarta   /   Fri, February 1 2013   /  11:36 am

“Such a nice lurik you have on!”


“The shirt you’re wearing. It’s a lurik.”

“Um, thank you. It’s silk, from Obin.”

“[Pause] yes, Madam Obin is one of our most celebrated designers. But the pattern she used there on your shirt is called lurik, and it is from Yogyakarta.”

That was an actual conversation between me and an expat as we were leaving the Indonesian Services Dialogue late last year.

Before you, especially Indonesians, have a good chuckle, let me ask earnestly: How many of you actually know, own or have ever touched a lurik?

Let me ask further: How many of you have worn, or at least can tell the difference between jumputan, ikat, songket, ulos or other types of tenun?

Javanese batik has come a long way, thanks to breakthroughs in designs and technology fought for by modern fashion designer...