There is patience, perseverance, tenderness and creativity in each piece of Ikat from Sikka. In the artistry of this intricate artisanal tradition, there are historical values expressed, which have been carried on from generation to generation of weavers.
Tenun Ikat Sika GI”, known as “Pete Lorun(g) Sikka” in the local language of people in the Sikka Regency of East Nusa Tenggara Province, Indonesia, has been developed and supported by the community for hundreds of years. This weaving is fabricated by using traditional looms (ATBM) which are done manually using hand-tied and with woven materials made of cotton or suter (factory yarn or self-spun yarn/traditional) then coloured with natural dyes without chemical dyes/naphthol.
Each handwoven fabric pattern features its own history and philosophy. Every motif of Tenun Ikat Sikka is a representation of certain spiritual and social values beyond culture and aesthetics. Recurring depictions of plants and animals in the motifs reflect the form of expression of our ancestors who did not know how to write at the time. Each motif contains a strong meaning that should be chosen to reflect the wearer’s beliefs so as to enable him or her to exude an aura of positive energy.
Our colours – natural dyes
Traditionally, Tenun Ikat Sikka (GI) has the dominant colour of indigo black, arranged mostly with geometric decorations on the edges with small or large black lines as well as with several variations of motifs. In principle, Tenun Ikat Sikka only uses three colours, namely: black, blue and dark brown. Traditional weaving using self-spun cotton yarn and natural dyes has the advantage of being more expensive and can last for hundreds of years.
The Tenun Ikat Sikka (GI) motif is a representation of ethnicity, “magi” religious values and social culture , depicted with surrounding symbols in the form of plants and animals, which are symbols and expressions of ancestors who at that time did not know the writing system. At present, Tenun Ikat Sikka (GI) is well-known by both the domestic and international public because of its uniqueness.
The physical properties of Tenun Ikat Sikka (GI), based on the yarn used, can be divided into two, namely:
- Traditional yarn spun manually from cotton has thick and rather rough physical characteristics;
- Factory spun yarn that weavers commonly call shop yarn has thin and delicate physical characteristics.
The physical properties of Tenun Ikat Sikka based on the dyes used are:
Natural dyes: the resulting colours are limited and not bright because of the use of natural dyes derived from roots, skin and leaves that are cultivated by weaver communities.
Chemical/factory dyes: the recommended type is Naphthol. It is sold in stores, with unlimited colour characteristics and brighter colours compared to natural dyes. We aim stop this practice.
The protected Tenun Ikat Sikka (GI) product is available in the traditional existing formats such as:
- Patan: a sheet of fabric that is still intact with tassels (female)
- Utan: cloth that has been sewn into a sarong (female). For men, a cloth that is still intact and has been sewn is called a Lipa
- Sembar: shawl-shaped fabric
- Lensu: cloth for head cover (male)