Last year, we spent a day with the weavers of Nggela, Flores and learned so much about their culture and local tradition there. The distinctive earthy colours of their Ikat textiles were truly magnificent and the complex processes and elaborate designs, so unique and distinctive only to this region.
In October 2018, the whole Nggela traditional village was engulfed by fire, and only one traditional house escaped this tragedy. There is so much pain and devastation left by the fire, the weavers lost everything; their homes, their belonging, weaving tools which were kept for generations, dyed yarns which they have meticulously prepared for several years, their beautiful ikat collection left by their ancestors, everything was lost in the fire.
I felt truly blessed that I was received in the village by the weavers allowing me to share their stories and enjoying deep heart-to-heart conversations with amazing women, who were mostly widow. It was such privileged that with no language barrier for me to ask as many questions and to share some of my own weaving knowledge and experience I have picked over the years, and that day was truly precious.
My love for Indonesian traditional textiles is no doubt immense, but for me, the journey towards understanding the lives of the artisans who made them is so much more precious. I get to understand the challenges they are facing during the process of weaving these textiles and the struggles they have to endure living in today’s modern world.
This year, I plan to arrange several open house events at my home in London, where you could come and ask me questions about my journey to weaving villages in Indonesia.
Let’s share our stories and find some great ways to keep this tradition going the way that it should.
Thank you for loving Indonesian Textiles, we are truly proud of this culture.
Thank you for taking the time to stop by.