On the north coast of East Java there are villages with a tradition of weaving textiles from locally grown, handspun cotton, and then decorating the fringes with complex macrame before decorating the whole textile with batik and natural dyes. However, thriving local demand for cheap, synthetically dyed batik on commercial cotton has led to the steep decline of handspun and natural dyed work. Addressing this, Threads of Life works with local farmers, spinners, and weavers to commission the continued production of the traditional cloths.
One of three customary sizes, the sayut is a sarong-size piece of cloth. Bought as undyed cotton, these sayut have been dyed at the Threads of Life natural dye studio in Bali using indigo dye from Strobilanthes cusia or a rust brown dye from Ceriops tagal. Inconsistencies in the tightness of the handspinning and the dye saturation of this unrefined cotton give a subtle and beautiful character to these pieces.
Plain weave, single panel, macrame fringe, handspun cotton, natural dyes. Approximately 340 x 55 cm / 134 x 21.5 in"
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We work directly with over 1,000 women in more than 35 groups on 12 Indonesian islands from Kalimantan to Timor
We empower women’s enterprises and put money directly into women’s hands where it best ensures their households’ welfares.
Our cultural and technical support moves weavers to great pride of ownership, inspiring the extraordinary quality of their work.
Dye plant use perpetuates a sustainable relationship with the land, and helps a community prioritize conservation.