East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) is one of the provinces in Indonesia which is rich in cultural heritage and natural beauty. The province, located in the southeastern part of Indonesia, has several islands, namely Lombok, Flores, Sumba, Komodo, and other islands.
Even though they have different customs, there are similarities among all the tribes spread across the NTT archipelago, namely the traditional cloth. This unique cloth is known as weaving. Weaving itself is known as the activity of making a piece of cloth by inserting horizontal weft in the threads, which are usually, have been tied and dipped into dyes made from roots and trees.
Weaving activities are developed by each tribe in East Nusa Tenggara for generations, for the sake of preserving the art of weaving. Weaving for the people of East Nusa Tenggara is seen as valuable property belonging to high-value families.
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The reason is, in addition to the level of difficulty in the manufacturing process, also a model of weaving motifs produced by weavers. Not surprisingly, the weaving process produces fabric prices that are quite expensive. NTT woven fabrics are sold up to hundreds of millions of rupiah. Even so valuable the results of the work, even though used, a NTT woven fabric seller named Niko still sells woven cloth or clothing at new prices.
Once upon a time, woven fabric was made to meet daily needs, namely as ordinary clothing. But then it developed for customary needs, such as ceremonies, dances, marriages, and parties. Currently, woven cloth is also commonly used as a shawl, sarong, blanket, to clothing.
The people of East Nusa Tenggara are estimated to have existed since 3,500 years ago. The first kingdom of NTT people flourished in the 3rd century AD And since that is expected, local people have known art and culture, one of which is weaving.
According to the production process, woven fabrics in NTT are divided into several types. Namely, ikat, buna, and lotis or sotis or songket.
As the name suggests, weaving has the process of forming a motif by binding the yarn. In NTT, warp threads will be tied and will produce certain motifs. The technique in making woven fabric is by combining yarn lengthwise and transversely.
Meanwhile, the ‘buna’ weaving process is weaving to make patterns or motifs on the fabric using threads that have been colored before, so as to produce motifs with various colors that are so eye-catching.
Lotis weaving or often referred to as songket cloth has a manufacturing process similar to buna weaving, identical to dark basic colors such as black, brown, dark blue, and red heart.
Woven crafters usually use natural dyes such as tauk, noni, turmeric, and other plants. But in modern times, many crafters have also switched to using chemical dyes due to many advantages. Namely, it can speed up the workmanship process, fastness and light, rub resistance, and the color is also varied.
In NTT, weaving motifs can characterize where the wearer is from. Because, in the motifs of weaves are drawn the characteristics of a tribe or island. Motifs on woven cloths are a form of community life and form a close emotional bond with the community. The people of NTT are so proud and happy to use woven fabrics from their tribes, and on the contrary they will be awkward and embarrassed if they use woven cloth from other tribes.
Each kingdom, tribal group, region and island creates a number of distinctive patterns or motifs on the weaving. Then it was revealed by teaching their children and grandchildren so that the preservation of the art of weaving is maintained.
Weaving from East Sumba, for example, has a skull motif. In Maumere, the motifs depict more rain, trees and twigs. Perhaps, the motives were inspired by ancient people who went out of the house and saw the natural surroundings, so that the natural motifs emerged.
In September 2017, woven fabrics from NTT succeeded in packing their wings on the international scene. For the first time weaving from NTT appeared in the solo performance of Couture New York Fashion Week. The beauty of this traditional knitted fabric texture is the work of women craftsmen from NTT under the care of Rumah Pandai, a non-profit institution founded by renowned designer Kanaya Tabitha. The works featured in the event also received a touch of aesthetic design from Julie Sutrisno Laiskodat, who is also a weaving fashion designer from Indonesia.
On February 27-March 6, 2018, Julie managed to bring back woven fabric to a prestigious fashion show in the world, namely Paris Fashion Week 2018 in Paris. Julie with LeVico (her boutique), presented 18 collections of woven clothing that has been modified into NTT winter special clothing from Sabu, Rote, and Alor.
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We will provide information, what materials are normally used by an artist in creating their art and also information about new materials which are innovations in the art world.
As we all know, the world is developing very rapidly, as well as in the material world of art.
Knowing the existence of new material in the art world can help artists create more innovative artworks.