Weavings & Tools

Timorese Textiles are a tradition in their own right. No two weavings are the same as the weaver never weaves the same “story” twice there is always a slight and subtle variation. Each woman has her own motif that relates to her clan and where she resides. Motifs and construction vary from area to area often changing every 3-5km. Occasional cross-road pieces tell of inter-marriages.
Hand-oven on a simple back-strap loom using 3 techniques. IKAT meaning to tie and denotes the pieces where the warp thread is tied off to produce the motif or pattern and dyed. LOTIS is supplementary weft weaving where the weft threads are “pulled” through to create a “negative” image on the reverse side. BUNA is where embroidery thread is wrapped into the weft as the weaver creates her masterpiece.
With commercial dyes and threads making in-roads it is pure pleasure to still be offered hand-spun cotton natural dye textiles fresh from the loom.
It is possible to read a person’s status within their village and clan through their weaving. Still woven and worn with pride daily by Atoni men, women and children in the highlands of West Timor. I believe that Timorese textiles are still highly underrated amongst the few remaining living cultures that maintain a handwoven presence in the global market place.
An amazing reference book has been compiled by Ruth Yeager and Mark Jacobson : Textiles of West Timor ISBN;974-4800-01-1 A worthy and worthwhile treatise.
Copyright Julie Emery 22/02/2022©