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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:33 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:18 pm
Posts: 110
Location: Portugal
Dear all,

A while ago I bought an ikat textile presumed to be from Indonesia that I found attractive, not because of its brilliant ikat work, but because I could not place it within any of the weaving traditions known to me. (Like some of you I love oddities, study pieces.) I have since exhausted my library and all on-line museum collections trying to find a cognate. Which is why I now turn to you. Has any of you any idea where this cloth may have been made? My own suspicion is that it is from the Lio region of Flores. The reasons for this suspicion are: the purplish tinge of the field, the way that the fringes were done, and the use of bright yellow - which we see today in Lio pieces with chemical colours, but in this case was clearly done with natural dye, probably kunyit (curcuma), as it bleeds very easily.

Attachment:
File comment: Can you place this?
ikat_251.jpg
ikat_251.jpg [ 374.04 KiB | Viewed 313 times ]


I would be very grateful for your help!

Kind regards,
Peter

_________________
Peter ten Hoopen
www.ikat.us

PUSAKA COLLECTION: ONLINE MUSEUM OF TRADITIONAL INDONESIAN IKAT TEXTILES


Last edited by Peter ten Hoopen on Fri Apr 28, 2017 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 10:29 am 
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Joined: Sat May 09, 2009 1:01 am
Posts: 246
Location: Japan
Peter, It looks like a luka semba from the Lio District to me too. The yellow looks very bright in your photo and makes me wonder if it is natural. Is that a green stripe on each side of the central motif? Is the piece hand spun? What are the dimensions? As many questions as answers.

Best regards


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 2:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:18 pm
Posts: 110
Location: Portugal
Dear Mac,

Thank you for your valuable assessment. The dimensions are: 50.5 x 151 cm (1' 7" x 4' 11"). The weight is very low: 200 g (7.1 oz), 262 g/m2 (0.86 oz/ft2). In terms of weight per area this is close to the bottom of the scale for cotton ikat. (Working on weight classes for the website, and now realize that it would be good if I made separate classes for silk and cotton.) The yellow appears to be natural, kunyit. I cut of one of the fringe threads and put it in between a folded sheet of tissue paper. This is the result:

Attachment:
File comment: Bleeding yellow dye
ikat_251_curcuma.jpg
ikat_251_curcuma.jpg [ 38.58 KiB | Viewed 294 times ]


As the dye began bleeding within minutes, and the colour is exactly the same as the kunyit we use in the kitchen, I think it is safe to conclude that that is what it is. The green I am not sure about (and I cannot get at the cloth easily at this moment). Nor am I wholly sure about the red and the purple. It is similar to the purplish maroon of many Lio cloth, but a little redder. It could well be aniline dye, or aniline red over indigo.

What I find so strange is that the design is so very different from the 'normal' Lio luka semba. It looks festive and gay, but the ikating is several grades below the best Lio work. The use of that bleeding yellow would mean that you could wear it only on good days. If you'd wear it in the rain, you'd have yellow running into all the rest of your clothes. Could it be that it was intended to adorn a sculpture in the house temple? So that bit remains mysterious. I am glad though you agree on the likely place of origin. I hate to have floating pieces that I cannot anchor anywhere.

The yarn to me appears to be incontestably hand spun. Have a look at the shot below. (More on the site at http://ikat.us/ikat_display_micro.php?item=251 It gives me the feeling that the cloth may well be older than it looks: fresh, unused.

Attachment:
File comment: Two more micro photographs on website.
ikat_251_micro_03.jpg
ikat_251_micro_03.jpg [ 133.34 KiB | Viewed 292 times ]


I just discovered a cloth, not ikat, from Flores (without further provenance in the collection of a friend) that has similar small motifs. The format of the cloth looks like something that might be used to dress a sculpture.

Attachment:
File comment: Flores cloth (non-ikat) with similar motifs
tmp.jpg
tmp.jpg [ 270.8 KiB | Viewed 293 times ]



Have a good weekend,
Peter

_________________
Peter ten Hoopen
www.ikat.us

PUSAKA COLLECTION: ONLINE MUSEUM OF TRADITIONAL INDONESIAN IKAT TEXTILES


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