Indonesia filled with rich and prosperous culture, heritage, and history, which has been renowned in the world. It is striking from the everlasting grand creation and legacy of traditional textiles that known for its intricacy and exquisite details. However, Indonesian textiles are not merely just a piece of fabric, but it contains values and stories.

In this segment, we are going to list some of the outstanding textiles based on the specific islands just in case you might not have noticed. As for now, here are the chosen magnificent textiles from Sumatra and as a hint for our upcoming collection.


Source: Indonesia.Travel

Comes from the North of Sumatra, Ulos, is a typical Batak woven cloth that usually used as a scarf or known as ‘selendang‘ in Bahasa. The name derived from Batak word ‘mengulosi‘ means giving the fabric itself as an expression of respect, love, hope, and goods for others. Black, white, and red are the dominant colors of Ulos and some of them mixed with gold threads. There are many different motifs of Ulos with different significant stories behind it.


Source: Etnik Nusantara

From the beautiful handcrafted woven made from silk or cotton, which combines with gold and or silver threads, Songket, is a piece of fabric that chiefly used as traditional ceremonies, festive events, or formal attire. You can wear around your body like sarung, draped over your shoulder, or as a headdress or tanjak, headband ornament. The most well-known Songket in Sumatra is from Minangkabau named Pandai Sikek and Silungkang.


Source: Sportourism

Sumatra also owns Batik from Bengkulu, which adopted from Jambi and Cirebon calligraphy motifs. Both combinations create an indigenous style of Bengkulu motif. Batik Bengkulu divided into two types; Batik Besurek with signature calligraphy motifs and Batik Pei Ka Ga Nga (or Ka Ga Nga) with handwritten calligraphy of Rejang Lebong’s people.


Source: Indonesia Kaya

This weaving has become the ancestor fabric of Lampung with the variety of motifs according to each region. Tapis has become the alignment and manifestation of life with God and the universe as well as the reflection of the makers’ personality which most of them are girls. With pyramids and zigzags motifs, the base color of this fabric generally in dark tone added with gold threads.


Source: Aceh Tourism Agency

This Gayo Tribal Clothes that usually worn for Wedding and traditional dance costume, Kerawang Gayo, is a result of human creations, which transform into aesthetic value in the behavior of life. It is also a reflection of the human with nature in everyday life with prosperous meaning for its motifs. As for the colors, it also has special meaning; black (the result of tribe decision), red (brave and stands for right), white (a sacred sign in the act of birth and mind), green (glory in everyday life), yellow (caution of acts).

And that’s all from Sumatra.

Stay tuned for more Indonesian fabrics to be featured in the next Enlighten Indonesian Traditional Fabrics, because for the next post we have this island that famous with their traditional art of Wayang and traditional Reog Ponorogo dance.

Have guessed it already? Stick around because we still have plenty of interesting fabrics and topics to share!