Meeting the Weavers of Sumba Face to Face

By Threads of Life Gallery Staff: Iluh, Desak and Lia

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(Left to right) Iluh, Lia and Desak. Our flight from Denpasar to Sumba.

We have been working in the Threads of Life Gallery in Ubud Bali as sales staff for the past number of years. We often sell textiles woven by weavers in Sumba so we recognize all of their names, but this March we had the chance to actually fly to Sumba and meet the weavers face to face.


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Bali Style

2010 Bali Style

“The Threads of Life team believes in creating a connection between the weaver, the buyer, and whoever uses the cloth. An information card accompanying each purchase states the weaver’s name, her location and the community’$s name.”


The Bud

2010 TheBud

“In Indonesia the seasons are stitched together with cotton… Whenever there’s a particular ceremony going on people will be wearing traditional dress. Textiles are involved when offerings are made… And then you have weddings and funerals, which are often seasonal as well, where textiles are exchanged as gifts.”


PEKKA Workshop: The Women Headed Household Empowerment Program visits Threads of Life

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Sukartini , Asih and Pauziah from the PEKKA groups on the island of Lombok

Over three days in March 2009, Threads of Life and the YPBB Foundation hosted a group from PEKKA, the Women Headed Household Empowerment Program (, to explore the potential for improving the marketing of the traditional textiles produced by their members’. PEKKA operates in eight Indonesian provinces, reaching more than three hundred poor villages, and has established hundreds of grassroots women’s organizations that collectively own several micro financial institutions.

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Textile Perspectives

2007 Textile PerspectivesTraditional textile crafts, Industrial design and quilts as art.

“The work of Threads of Life presents a heartening and instructive example of what can be achieved to enable people to nurture skills, develop economic independence and preserve their cultural values for the future.”

Garuda (Inflight Magazine)

2004 Garuda

“At the heart of the Threads of life approach is the observation that traditional textiles are the primary material symbols of traditional culture across much of eastern Indonesia and the single largest source of cash income for many women.”



2004 worldBridging the cultural and experiential gap for expatriates living in Indonesia.

“Yayasan Pecima Budaya Bebali has begun to revitalize knowledge, use and production of Bebali textile so it can remain a part of Balinese culture.”



2003 PolengMade Wijaya’s Magazine containing commentary on Bali.

“There are two groups entitled to wear poleng [black and white checked cloth in Bali]. Those who have the authority to say what is black and what is white – rulers, governors – and those, like priests, who have the right because of who they are.”