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 Post subject: Kauer jacket
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 10:00 am 
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I have been asked some questions about Kauer jackets (from Sumatra, west coast in the south of the island). I have done a very little research on them and give a couple of references below. I also attach some photos of a Kauer jacket in my collection as I thought that forum members might like to see the very fine workmanship. We also don't seem to have been talking much for some time about any of the myriad and beautiful textiles from Indonesia (hint, hint!)

Robyn Maxwell 'Textiles of Southeast Asia: Tradition, Trade and Transformation' has a bit + photos of back and front of a Kauer jacket, in the revised edition p312: fig 442:
Quote:
"women's jackets Kauer people, south Sumatra, Indonesia cotton, silk, natural dyes, mirror pieces, shells , metallic thread, supplementary weft weave, embroidery, applique 153.5 x 33.0 cm, 151.0 x 30.0 cm Australian National Gallery. Young women of the Kauer district of the western highlands of south Sumatra wear decorative long-sleeved jackets on ceremonial occasions. There is little variation in the designs on these short jackets, and these examples show the typical intricate embroidery and supplementary weft weave with which the front and back panels are filled."

Mattiebelle Gittinger in 'Splendid Symbols: Textiles and Tradition in Indonesia' has a bit more (too much to quote in much detail) pages 84-87. However, Fig 47 on page 87 is interesting in that it is a textile length woven for a jacket. The info with the figure includes
Quote:
"Textile length for jacket, Sumatra, Kauer people. Supplementary weft, embroidery on warp-faced plain weave, variable warp floats in stripes. Cotton, metal yarn, cermuk. Warp 111 cm, weft 49 cm. Volkenkundig Museum "Nusantara" Delft. In addition to making the embroidered tapis the Kauer, a people of the far west coast, also make a short jacket, to be worn by young unmarried women, which was totally conceived in the initial stages of weaving. The weaving pattern included the decorative panel that would appear in the jacket back and the colorful stripes for the bodice and sleeve decoration.

The back panel is a block of geometric designs worked by supplementary wefts laid-in with the foundation wefts so that they do not show on the reverse face of the textile. When the weaving was completed, the entire length was embroidered. This included making the two badges on the jacket front and applying several hundred tiny mirror pieces. Two rectangular pieces were cut from the end, tapered, and sewn into tubes for the sleeves. After being assembled the jacket was lined, usually with imported cotton. Finally, shells were sewn onto the neck opening and around the back panel.

This jacket is a handsome blend of local and imported elements. The cloth itself is a heavy, handspun cotton dyed warm shades of blue, reddish brown, and deep yellow, capable of holding the several kilograms of mirror pieces that stud its surface. Because of the very weight, this type of jacket is unsuitable for the tropical climate of Sumatra's west coast. As a result, young women traditionally carried their jackets wrapped in tampan to the vicinity of the celebration and donned them at the last moment."


Attachments:
File comment: Back of Kauer woman's jacket
Kauer_back.jpg
Kauer_back.jpg [ 49.71 KiB | Viewed 6147 times ]
File comment: Detail of back of Kauer woman's jacket
Kauer_back_detail.jpg
Kauer_back_detail.jpg [ 69.48 KiB | Viewed 6147 times ]
File comment: Front of Kauer woman's jacket
Kauer_fr.jpg
Kauer_fr.jpg [ 50.57 KiB | Viewed 6147 times ]
File comment: Detail of front of Kauer woman's jacket
Kauer_fr_det.jpg
Kauer_fr_det.jpg [ 67.76 KiB | Viewed 6147 times ]
File comment: Detail of very fine mirror work on the front openings of the Kauer woman's jacket
Kauer_fr_det2.jpg
Kauer_fr_det2.jpg [ 68.54 KiB | Viewed 6147 times ]

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:36 am 
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Location: Bali Indonesia
An interesting thing about Kauer jackets is that they are made of a single piece of cloth that is folded over at shoulder/sleeve line to form the jacket, then sewn up on the side seams under the arms. This gives them a distinctive boxy look.

Also interesting to note: The base cloth of the jackets is the same as the base cloth of Kauer tapis skirts. I wonder whether the jacket cloth and the skirt cloth would have been woven at the same time as one long length, which would them become a complete wedding costume when cut, constructed and decorated with surface ornament.

If that is the case, the indigo blue supplementary-patterned portion of the jacket (back yoke, front yoke), may have been the last part of the length woven. A kind of grand flourish at the end of the weaving process.

These indigo blue yoke panels are very interesting in that they are not applied to the jackets, but woven as one with the base cloth. Technical textile experts, can you elaborate on this very unusual feature? I'm no expert on the technical side of weaving.

Also interesting. I have bought old Kauer jackets without the usual surface ornament. Plain, unfinished.

I have also bought an old Kauer jacket textile, that was decorated, but not constructed, it is still flat! The neckhole and centre opening haven't been cut either. That's an odd piece. I'll go look in my database for an image.[/i]


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 9:35 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
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I have managed to get in touch with Mattiebelle Gittinger and she has very kindly given permission for me to post the image that I refer to above i.e. from 'Splendid Symbols: Textiles and Tradition in Indonesia' by Mattiebelle Gittinger Fig 47, Page 87 'Textile length woven for jacket Sumatra, Kauer people Supplementary weft, embroidery on warp-faced plain weave, variable warp floats in stripes, Cotton, metal yarn, cermuk. Warp 111 cm, weft 49 cm Volkenkundig Museum "Nusantara" Delft, Delft S-451-214'. For full text accompanying the image see my post above.

Susan Stem also talk about a similar textile for a jacket before it has been cut and made up.

I think that I have an image of the sort of skirt which goes with the jacket that I took in a gallery in Jakarta in approximately 1998. I will see if I can find it and post. I was quite surprised when I saw it as initially it did not strike me as the matching jacket although it had quite a lot of the mirror work (cermuk) on it.


Attachments:
File comment: Fig 47, Page 87 from 'Splendid Symbols: Textiles and Tradition in Indonesia' by Mattiebelle Gittinger
47p87_Kauer.jpg
47p87_Kauer.jpg [ 72.64 KiB | Viewed 6048 times ]

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 1:12 pm 
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Location: Bali Indonesia
That's fantastic! Exactly like the cloth that I have. It is such an interesting tradition. I love the fashion aspect of it. Weaving one long length of striped cloth which becomes (doubled, joined and side-seamed) a strapless wedding tube gown, AND (doubled over, portions set aside for sleeves), a glamourous jacket to complement the strapless wedding tube gown!

Bravissima! Those ladies knew how to make a stunning ensemble!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 2:43 pm 
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I managed to find a print I made of a photo of the Kauer tapis which is worn with the Kauer jackets. I saw it in the Made Rauh Art Galleries in Jakarta in Aug 1997. He had some wonderful textiles at this time but much, I think, was sold during the 1998 Asian crash. I have had a hunt on the web and found a reference to the gallery http://www.hotfrog.co.id/Companies/Made ... -Galleries so perhaps the business is still going. It was in a little side street and very difficult to find. I was taken there with some textile enthusiasts one of whom had two Kauer jackets. I have found photos of these but don't like to post without permission and I have now lost touch with the collector. One of the jackets had a modern red fabric with yellow and black/indigo dots on it (looks like a fabric straight out of a quilt shop). The fabric is at the top of the front and back of the jacket at the shoulder level where there is plain red fabric on my jacket. A second jacket looks quite modern and where the cermuk work would be it has sequins and also some stuffed gold work in a curly, leaf-like shape and quite a bright striped fabric on most of the jacket. It would seem that these are more modern editions of the jackets but still part of the tradition.

The Made Rauh Kauer tapis seems to have both cermuk and sequins.

Looking again in 'Splendid Symbols' I see that there is a lovely photo (fig 45, page 85) of
Quote:
"A young Kauer woman dressed in a tapis and jacket. Rather than using large bands of embroidery found on the tapis of the interior, the Kauer layered their cloths with hundreds of small pieces of mirrored metal. In most cases it required more than a year to embroider these pieces onto such a cloth. The jackets are distinctive to the Kauer, where they were worn only by young unmarried women. Weaving ceased long ago in these areas, and very few such pieces are found today. (Mattiebelle Gittinger, Washington, D.C.)"


Looking on page 84 there is some additional information:
Quote:
"Still a third style of tapis evolved on the far west coast in the south among the Kauer. Here hundreds of small mirror pieces called cermuk were embroidered onto the cloth surface, usually in conjunction with an embroidered scroll motif. Other groups in Lampong used cermuk as a minor element, but the Kauer used them in great quantity, whether grouped in simple geometric designs or casually scattered across the textile surface. Some cermuk-decorated cloths took over a year to make, and there are examples weighing more than five kilograms.

Another element of the Kauer costume was an extremely short jacket designed specifically to complement the tapis. The textile woven to become this garment contained decorative panels that would ultimately appear on the back and upper front of the jacket. It also had to be long enough to allow for sleeve widths to be cut from one end. A tapis and jacket constituted the festival dress of young single women, who were required to make these garments before marriage. A suitor's inquiries often too the form of asking if the tapis were finished. The Kauer and the interior mountain people no longer make tapis, but as late as 1971 some tapis were still being woven and embroidered in the east region among the Abrung people."


Attachments:
File comment: Kauer tapis in the Made Rauh Art Gallery in Jakarta, Aug 1997
made_rauh_kauer_skirt.jpg
made_rauh_kauer_skirt.jpg [ 66.18 KiB | Viewed 6030 times ]

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