An Introduction to Beautiful Indonesian Fabrics

Here at, we feature fabrics and methods of crafting that are high in quality, unique and beautiful. Not everyone is familiar with terms like batik, jumputan and tenun. Everyone should be, though! Some of the most beautiful and fashionable pieces in the world are created using these and similar methods and fabrics, and understanding them fully adds greatly to the appeal!


Batik is a method of dyeing fabric that uses wax to create stunning designs and patterns. Thought to be more than one thousand years old, today it can also refer to methods of cloth that is block-printed with wax, cloth that is decorated with designs that are hand-drawn, or cloth that is decorated with traditional Batik designs without the use of wax.

The wax, which is a dye-resistant substance, is used in a technique known as a resist technique; areas of cloth are covered with wax to prevent them from absorbing dyes in certain areas. The wax is also useful for controlling the spread of colors. Batik is used today not only for clothing, but also for furniture, upholstery, linens and more.


Jumputan is a technique of dyeing cloth using a “tie and dye”, or tie-dye method to create specific motifs on material. The artisan begins with deliberately placed stitchings on a cloth, binding them tightly to certain areas, then the cloth is dipped in a solution of dye. In contrast to Batik as defined above, with Jumputan the stitches are used to define patterns instead of wax.

Tie-dye techniques originally began in China, after which they expanded to India and beyond. Today, some of the materials that are most commonly used to design patterns include marbles, rubber bracelets, plastic twine, and many others. Jumputan is extensively and beautifully used in Palembang, Sumatra, Java, Bali, and Kalimantan.


Tenun has become extremely popular with fashion designers and artisans alike; tenun, or woven cloth, is a traditional textile that customarily was regarded as a heavy fabric; these days, however, it is fast becoming chic, and textiles made with tenun from Indonesia are becoming most coveted.

One of the biggest reasons for its renewed popularity is the ability for tenun to be very versatile; wearing the fabric with bright colors and hues is fashionable, and so too is wearing them with small motifs. Many people enjoy combining solid-colored tenun with those pieces that have designs and patterns for a modern touch. Formal looks can be achieved by wearing dark-colored tenun with geometric patterns. Also, tenun is available in lighter textures for comfortable wear in mild weather conditions.

With so many beautiful fabrics and stunning techniques that deliver intricate, unique, beautiful clothing, it’s no wonder that so many people are seeking out authentic fashion pieces from Indonesia more than ever before.

FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites

Leave a Reply

latest posts