We have just been to Flores, an island in eastern Indonesia for the third time. We revisited some villages and did a 3 day introduction to natural dyeing and ikat weaving in Maumere. This confirmed to me how amazing these ikat weavings are and just how much skill, patience and time goes into making them. Flores has always been famous for the beauty and intricacy of its ikat textiles. A girl is expected to be able to weave ikat textiles for her family before she is thought ready to marry.
Each village has its own designs and dyes and the scarves and sarongs which we bought are mostly dyed with local natural plant dyes. These are mainly indigo blue, mangrove bark for black, soga brown, mango leaf for green and mengkudu (morinda citrifolia) root forall kinds of shades from deep red to pale apricot. Here is a selection of what we brought back from our trips. Each one we sell ensures that we can continue to spend money with the weaving women who often use the money to pay for their kids to go to school.