The Jakarta Textile Museum to put on display 100 pieces of Timorese Tenun (traditional woven cloth) owned by private collectors and traditional cloth lovers in Jakarta at an exhibition titled â€œThe Many Colors of Timor's Textiles. This event is being held to motivate the public to appreciate different kinds of Indonesian traditional cloth and those who are working to produce traditional woven cloth and fashion designers, said art museum unit manager Esti Utami.
Due to the influence of traditional dyes, most of the colors used in Timor's woven cloth are strong and bold. The colors used in making the cloth differ depending on the region.
The most colorful cloth in Timor is said to come from Oecussi, a Timor Leste enclave in the middle of western Timor's north coast that was strongly influenced by Portuguese tastes, as well as from Wewiku-Wehale, an old harbor on Timor's southeastern coast frequented by Chinese and Bugis traders hundreds of years ago.
Like most of Indonesia's traditional weaving, tenun has struggled to compete with less expensive, readymade, machine-printed cloth over the past century. Today, Timor's handweaving industry is supported by an ongoing need for ceremonial attire, church wear and the tourist and art markets.
As a result, some cloth is made exclusively for personal use, especially to show off one's weaving skills at important events.
Efforts to ensure that traditional weaving is preserved have been made by the government since the 1970s. Recently, with the assistance of a number of private organizations, local administrations and other groups of weavers, they are setting up cooperatives through which they can help one another to obtain raw materials at lower costs, create new designs and market their products.
Aside from the exhibition, the event will also feature a tenun bazaar and batik-making workshops. The exhibition will run for five days from Dec. 10 to 14 at the museum on Jl. Aipda KS Tubun, Jakarta.
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