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Traditional Indonesian Textiles Paperback – April 17, 1995

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From the Back Cover

The fabrics of Indonesia, at one time the preserve of scholarly enthusiasts, have now won universal popularity, so much so that local names for techniques of resist-dyeing - batik, ikat, plangi and tritik - have been adopted internationally as generic terms. The reverence accorded to textile art on the islands is reflected in every area of production; precision of weave and exquisite patterning are testimony to superlative craftsmanship. Lying at the heart of a vast network of trading routes, Indonesia has absorbed a wealth of foreign influences that have spawned an eclectic culture uniquely mirrored in its textile art. Beautiful cloud shapes characteristic of Chinese painting reappear in Javanese batik, while Ming porcelain and Chinese embroideries have provided inspiration for many wonderful patterns. Indian symbols - the tree of life, the naga snake, the sacred mountain, the lotus - have all been rendered as textile motifs. Geometric forms, human and animal figures and even Dutch Art Deco designs can also be found. John Gillow begins his account - based on firsthand research often conducted in isolated areas - with a complete history of textile production in the Indonesian archipelago. He describes the various materials, dyes and looms, and details their use in the creation of batik and the many other richly patterned cloths, from Javanese silks and the hinggi mantles of the Sumban kings to Balinese Iamak banners and the gold-thread brocades of Sumatra. Specifics of their embellishment are followed by a guide to the islands and their products. More than one hundred and fifty dazzling photographs specially taken by Barry Dawson illustrate these marvels of time-honored workmanship, while a reference section including a bibliography and guide to collections provides indispensable factual background. This refreshing insight into a glorious tradition of ethnic craft will captivate students, travelers, collectors, designers, and all who appreciate textile art at its finest.

About the Author

John Gillow has spent over three decades studying, collecting, and lecturing on textiles. His other books include Textiles of the Islamic World and Indian Textiles.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson; Reprint edition (April 17, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500278202
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500278208
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.5 x 11.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,030,456 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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on May 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
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