Made in collaboration with Threads of Life Bali this fabric is a true labor of love in every sense for Eskayel. Our new Ikat fabrics are heirloom-quality textiles are hand crafted from beginning to end using locally harvested natural dyes to an exquisite standard usually seen only in museum quality pieces.
For the first time in history, traditional weavers on the island of Sumba, Indonesia have woven traditional style Ikat cloths using non-traditional motifs. We distilled a selection of our signature patterns down to their fundamental elements so they could be woven into the Warp Ikat cloths know as Hinggi. Hinggi are large hand dyed textiles historically used as the ceremonial clothing of male nobility during grand festivals signifying the status and power of each family. Traditionally, Hinggi feature motifs such as deer, prawn, snakes, fish, a skull tree, or a “mamuli”- which is an ornament used to indicate rank within the community.
Nick and I first discovered indigo Hinggi from Sumba at the Threads of Life Gallery in Ubud during a trip to Bali in 2009, and it has been a dream ever since to work with them to produce Eskayel designs in the traditional woven warp Ikat. Now six years later, the dream has become reality.
We are proud to introduce this special fabric as it ticks all the boxes of what we hold dear: beauty, sustainability, preservation of culture and artisanal skill, and a way to give back to a community who’s work has truly inspired us.
In facilitating this collaboration between Eskayel and the weavers in Sumba, Threads of Life has set up a special cooperative for production bringing an unprecedented opportunity to a weaving community willing to undertake this task, which is not an easy one. The co-operative is dependent on its dye harvest and the amount of indigo available on the Island is directly impacted by the rainy season, which dictates when harvest, dying, and weaving can take place. Without the expertise in quality and production standards and the relationships they have cultivated over the past 20 years this partnership could not have been possible.
Threads of Life is a fair trade organization that works through the promotion of culture and conservation to alleviate poverty in rural Indonesia. By working directly with over 1,000 women on 11 islands across Indonesia, Threads of Life has initiated the formation of independent weaving cooperatives to preserve the traditional skills of their ancestors, manage their resources sustainably and responsibly, and to express their cultural identity while working to expand their financial security in the modern global economy.
We also made a limited quantity of products with the fabric including lumbar and floor pillows with fringe, throws, bed sets and a custom ikat display frame. Click here to view the entire collection.