The beauty found in Tenun Ikat Sikka (GI) fabrics is the result of a very complicated process and it requires a high level of accuracy to turn imaginations into the motif designs on the white yard frame. The colouring process is an art form which involves combining colours from a single colour and from a compound colour combination which is the combination of the parts of the coloured motif. This process is carried out repeatedly in order to produce beautiful colours.

The community of weavers has inherited talents from their ancestors, so it is said that it is very difficult for people from outside Sikka to learn weaving skills as practiced by weavers in Sikka Regency.

The tools are made of wood and produced by local people themselves.

The following are several stages of the production process of Sikka Tie Weaving:

Yarn Making

There are three stages of the yarn making process commonly carried out by people in the Sikka Regency:

  1. Squeezing the core-less cotton seeds with a tool called NgeungTebong or Keho (local language) and rotating to the right so that the cotton is soft and easy to clean.
  2. Hitting the cotton with a stick that is held on top of a mat which is covered with dried banana leaves so that the work mat does not hit the ground and tear. It should be continuously beaten and turned upside down until the cotton becomes soft, so that the dirt can easily be removed. Then the clean cotton is folded up to resemble a rectangle. The method is called Lepet Kapa in the local language.
  3. Jata Kapa, which is to make yarn from cotton with a tool called jata.

Tying Stage

This stage plays an important role because it is very decisive in determining the motifs of the Ikat cloth to be made. The way to stretch a plain yarn is called goan kapa, where the yarn spindle is stretched extensively along the reach of an adult woman’s hand on a device called laing, which is a middle wood. Then the motif is made by tying the yarn with goan kappa. 

Colouring Stage

There are only three basic colours of Tenun Ikat Sikka, namely: black, blue and dark brown. The process of kojagelo is dyeing white or blue basic yarn in a solution of walnut oil and pecan oil, as well as other ingredients such as papaya leaves, coral tree skin stems, and carbon. This aims to ensure that the noni dyes are absorbed properly. Then the yarn is dipped or soaked in the desired dye and must be continuously inverted so that the colour is evenly distributed. 

natural dyeing - indigo blue
Natural tincture used in Sikka for indigo blue

Weaving Stage

Loru or weaving: inserting vertical yarn by using legu one by one and weaving them using pati with enough force to get tight and strong weaving structures.