Textiles Books

Gillow, John: Traditional Indonesian Textiles (5426)

Thames & Hudson 1st 1992
large 4to, min bmp to frv bd o/w F/F 1130 gms
(Order reference 5426).

The fabrics of Indonesia have long held a unique allure. At one time the preserve of anthropologists and scholarly enthusiasts, they have now won universal popularity, so much so that local names for techniques of resist-dyeing - batik, ikat, plangi and tritik - have been adopted internationally as generic terms. The reverence accorded to textile art on the islands is reflected in every area of production; precision of weave and exquisite patterning are testimony to superlative craftsmanship.

Lying at the heart of a vast network of trading routes, Indonesia has absorbed a wealth of foreign influences that have spawned an eclectic culture uniquely mirrored in its textile art. Beautiful cloud shapes characteristic of Chinese painting reappear in Javanese batik, while Ming porcelain and Chinese embroideries provided inspiration for many wonderful patterns. Indian symbols - the tree of life, the naga snake, the sacred mountain, the lotus - have all been rendered as textile motifs. Geometric forms, human and animal figures and even Dutch Art Deco designs are also found amidst this rich array.

John Gillow begins his account - based on firsthand research often conducted in isolated areas - with a complete history of textile production in the Indonesian archipelago. He describes the various materials, dyes and looms, and details their use in the creation of batik and the many other richly patterned cloths, from Javanese silks and the hinggi mantles of the Sumban kings to Balinese lamak banners and the gold-thread brocades of Sumatra. Specifics of their embellishment are followed by a guide to the islands and their products. More than 150 dazzling photographs specially taken by Barry Dawson illustrate these marvels of time-honoured workmanship, whilst a reference section including a bibliography and guide to collections provides indispensable factual background.

This refreshingly new insight into a glorious tradition of ethnic craft will captivate students, travellers, collectors and designers, and all who appreciate textile art at its finest.
With 237 illustrations, 188 in colour, and a map
On the jacket: Finely detailed tiga negri (three-country) tulis-batik sarong started in Pekalongan, Java. The blue was added in another north-coast town before the cloth was soga-dyed in Surakarta.