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  • (Musa textilis) a type of banana used as a source of leaf fiber for weaving cloth (amongst other uses), particularly in the Philippines. Abaca is usually processed into flat, untwisted strips before weaving.
  • Customary law in traditional Indonesian society. A code of conduct governing social relations understood as having been handed down by the ancestors.
  • A ceremonial structure where community-owned heirloom objects, often including textiles, are stored.
  • A synonym for commercial synthetic dyes. The earliest synthetic dyes were made from aniline, a coal-tar derivative. Discovered in 1856, aniline dyes were commercialized for a short period in the 19th century but had very poor light fastness and were soon replaced by other types of synthetic dye. The name, however, has stuck.
  • Embellishment of finished fabric by application of another piece of cloth or other accessory objects such as sequins, to create patterns. Patterning effects of appliqué may vary from abstract geometric designs to bold, figurative motifs.

  • The major language group found throughout the Indonesian archipelago, extending from Taiwan in the north, Madagascar to the west and the Polynesian Islands to the east.
  • See body-tensioned loom.

  • Plain weave in which the warp and weft yarns are of the same size and interlaced with equal spacing.

  • A woven cloth in which the warp and weft threads are equally prominent on the surface.
  • A component of some complex pattern heddles. It takes the form of a cylinder made of bamboo strips, with a diameter varying between 40–60 centimeters, around which pattern sticks are held in sequence. Also called a “pig basket” by some authors.

  • A bar with grooves in it through which some warp yarns pass. When the bar is rotated, the warps in the grooves are lifted and lowered, creating sheds for the insertion of wefts. This type of heddle is used on some looms for making mats in the east Asia region.
  • A non-woven cloth that is made from the inner bark of certain trees, particularly the paper mulberry (Broussonetia papyrifera) and some species of fig (Ficus). Bark cloth is prepared by removing the outer bark, soaking the pale-colored inner bark in water and then beating it into flat sheets using a wooden or stone beater. See bast.
  • Plain weave based on groups of warp and weft yarns, instead of individual yarns. For example two or three warps/wefts are interlaced as if they were single warps/wefts.
  • The soft “inner bark” or phloem of some plants (such as hemp, ramie, jute, nettles, and flax), from which fibers can be extracted for making into yarn. Bast can also be used to make non-woven cloth (bark cloth) by softening it through soaking and beating it out into a flat sheet. The most commonly encountered bast fibre in the indonesian archipelago is ramie, which is derived from nettle plants.

  • Batik is a technique used to decorate woven cloth using a resist-dyeing process. The resisting agents used may be damar tree sap, rice paste, wax, or even mud. In Java, wax is the most common resist material, applied in a molten state. The finest and most valuable batik textiles are waxed using a pen-like tool called a canting. In the mid-19th century, the cap, a metal stamp, was developed for faster production at the expense of less flexible designs. The most refined batiks are waxed on both sides of the fabric, making them completely reversible. Hand-drawn batik is mainly created by women, while batik cap is made only by men. The wax is later removed by boiling the cloth in hot water, leaving the resisted area in the cloth's original color in contrast with the dyed area. Java is where the batik process reached its fullest expression, using repeated resist and dyeing steps to create complex, multi-colored designs.

  • The threading of small beads on to the weft yarn before they are woven with the warp yarns.

  • A general term referring to the application of beads to a ground fabric for decorative purpose. The beads may be applied individually or as strips of beads, sewn or glued into place. Red, black and white beads are common in several regions of Indonesia, while prized shell beads and ancient glass beads were traded from coastal areas and distant lands. In the case of some textiles it is the applied beads that embody the greatest protective power – when the fabric becomes worn or damaged the bead-work is removed and re-applied to a new cloth. Bead-work may be applied randomly as simple decoration, in highly symbolic geometric formations or in bold, expressive figurative forms.

  • A wooden stick (sword) or a reed, used to beat-in weft during weaving.
  • (Piper betle) is a vine of the family Piperaceae, which includes pepper and kava. The leaf of is usually combined with areca nut (‘betel nut’, Areca catechu), together with slaked lime and other flavourings, and is consumed as a mild stimulant throughout Southeast Asia, often as an integral part of social ritual.

  • An heirloom cloth that at times served as an element of costume or funerary cloth.