The Sisik Langit Ikat motif of the Dayak people of Indonesian West Borneo.

The Sisik Langit Ikat motif of the Dayak people of Indonesian West Borneo.

According to the weavers of Rumah Betang of Sintang, West Borneo, the motifs on this ikat called “Tisik langit/Sisik langit” and Merinjan. The Tisik langit depicted a low cloud in the rainforest, the clouds that almost touch the tip of the rain forest, the sign of the rain is ready to fall. The Merinjan, depicting the relationship between 3 very important plants in the rainforests which are also very important in human lives. Those three plants are called Tebelian, Rotan and the root of the Tenggang trees, which are all very important in the lives of the Dayak people daily.

I feel truly privileged this year to have given the opportunity to get connected closely with the weavers of Indonesian West Borneo, where we hope to learn so much more about the textile culture there, and we hope to work collaboratively with the weavers to produce more amazing environmentally friendly natural dye textiles like the one on this photo, which was produced using traditional Dayak ikat method, dyed using natural dye from Morinda citrifolia roots (called akar mengkudu in Indonesia). The colour of the Morinda roots in Sintang Rumah Betang (where this textile originated), is slightly reddish-brown, rather than deep maroon red like the colour of the East Nusa Tenggara Citrifolia root.  Of course, the depth of the colour (the darkness of the shades) created using Morinda Citrifolia root depending on the length/repetitions of the dying process. However, I was told that in Sintang, the darkest shade created with Morinda root, will usually resulting in a dark brownish colour, rather than in maroonish red achieved by weavers in Sumba.

I love this colour a lot, truly representing the colour of nature, the colour of the earth.  I hope to share more Dayak textile designs from the Indonesian side of West Borneo.

This Ikat blanket is available to purchase from our online catalogue www.wastra-indonesia.com