|My name is Nelly Andon and I am an Indonesian Traditional Textile enthusiast and environmental campaigner to support the reduction of fast global textile productions. I do this by encouraging and supporting the production of ethically and sustainably made handcrafted textiles, signifying traditionally made textiles from Indonesia.
I was born in North Sumatra, Indonesia and spent part of my childhood living in a small town in this region. I come from the Toba Batak tribe; both of my grandmothers from my father and my mother side were weavers. As a young teenager, my mother was also a skilful weaver, but later she abandoned the weaving world and opted to be a tailor and a non-traditional textile (fabric) trader.
I am currently living in London, UK and I have been away from Indonesia for over 30 years now, but I continue to make regular journeys back to Indonesia and spent a lot of my time there visiting remote weaving villages around the archipelago.
I am not a skilful weaver as such, but I love Indonesian traditional textiles (Ikat, Batik and Songket) and in the past few years I have worked very closely with weavers from around the archipelago, through a charity I founded in 2000 (Connect Indonesia, The Charity – www.connect-indonesia.org).
I am happy to say that I am a real Indonesian traditional textile enthusiast, placing Ulos (The Batak Tribe textile) very close to my heart. Although Ulos Batak has been a part of my life from the day I was born to my Batak family, I truly confess that my knowledge on this textile is very limited and I continue to cherish the variety of Ulos in circulations today and to understand their ceremonial significance within the Batak culture and tradition. Since the birth of Connect Indonesia, in the year 2000, the charity has given me heaps of opportunities to learn more about Indonesian traditional textile closely and to understand these amazing arts and to get the opportunity to connect with the artisans who created them.
There are some amazing stories I would love to share with you from my journeys to the weaving villages, but there are also some very sad stories behind the production of these amazing textile, that I feel you ought to know. Come and join me at my talks and seminars to hear all about it.
Thank you for being here today, and please do contact me if you have any queries regarding our textiles.