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Washing Instructions for Ikat and Handspuns

Unless otherwise specified all the textiles sold on this site are washable. A gentle hand wash in lukewarm water with a mild soap combined with blocking- rolling the gently wrung fabric out in a towel and laying it on a flat surface to dry.

The textiles have been hand woven using a centuries old technology, the backstrap loom, which consists of little more than two sticks in the ground and a harness for the weaver. The front porch of a traditional "adat" house would be incomplete without a loom, however, looms and adat houses are found only in areas where pavement and electricity are unusual.

Weaving is an activity that requires daylight and spare time, of which a farm wife has little and it could be months or years from conception to completion of a piece. One thing that is not rare in a village is dust. Therefore, all my textiles are washed prior to presentation.

These extraordinary tribal artworks are as tough as the sustenance farmers who make them and with a little bit of TLC could last for generations!

Natural Dyes, especially indigo, will soften with exposure to UV light and repeated laundering. Do not be alarmed if the textile "bleeds" it will dry clear and clean. Conversely, some colors will deepen when stored for a prolonged period of time in a dark place.

The debate about how and when to wash traditional textiles is an ongoing one. Ceremonial "adat" pieces are never washed, just dusted and aired after wearing to the ceremony and restored. Textiles that receive daily wear are rinsed in clear water on the morning of a sunny day and hung in the shade to dry. I maintain that the women in the villages would use soap if there were a mild one economically available to them.

Washing instructions:

For best results, beat the textile on a smooth rock in the ocean on a full moon or wash in lukewarm water using a mild soap and block to dry.

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