Besides, the touch of Japanese mode style on the lurik traditional weaving fabric has lured the customers, making lurik a fashion trend. Since then, boutiques and retail stores in the shopping malls carry lurik traditional weaving fabric.
A status symbol in the past
Lurik is different from batik. The local artisans weave motifs into the cloth by using a non-machinery weaving tool, or popularly known by its Indonesian acronym ATBM. It is a wooden tool that is manually operated by hands.
The fabric is made of cotton thread. Based on historical literature, lurik represented social status, too. In the old days, it was a symbol of the lower class in Javanese society. It was worn by commoners such as workers, guards of Javanese palaces, peasants, and street vendors. The texture of the fabric felt rough and color choices were limited at the time.
In the 18th century, the Javanese monarchs assigned mandatory clothes based on social status. The people with low social status wore clothes with particular colors, types of fabric, and styles that are different from the royal family.
Batik expert Achmad Ilyas explained that traditional fabrics such as batik and woven fabric have evolved. In the past, the traditional fabric had detail-rich motifs and rules.
In the 1970s, Ilyas added, it was the downfall of the traditional fabric which he described the era as “dark ages.” Craftsmen who produced handmade or painted batik faced challenges in the wake of printed batik.
Later on, the late batik maestro Iwan Tirta came up with his design featuring brighter colors and modified motifs for batik in the 1980s. Since then, traditional fabrics regained their popularity and they are even regarded as formal clothes.
“Nowadays, the most important thing is the final result,” Ilyas said.