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'Traditional Indonesian Textiles'

August 27, 1993|MARIA D. LASO

Author: John Gillow.

Info: Thames and Hudson, 1992. $40 hardcover. 152 pages plus glossary, bibliography, museum directory and index. More than 150 photographs by Barry Dawson; 237 illustrations total, 188 in color, and a map.

Indonesia, a network of islands in the heart of far-reaching trading routes, has spawned textiles that have developed richly from a number of influences, from Chinese painting and embroideries to Ming porcelain. Indian symbols and geometric figures, human and animal shapes and even Dutch Art Deco designs can be found.

John Gillow begins with a history of textile production in the archipelago, describing materials, dyes and looms. He details their use in the creation of batik and the many other richly patterned fabrics, from Javanese silk and the hinggi mantels of the Sumban kings to Balinese lamak banners and the gold-thread brocades of Sumatra.

Specifics of their embellishments are followed by a guide to the islands and their products. Barry Dawson's detailed photos illustrate the marvels of this time-honored workmanship.

Travelers and collectors will appreciate the insightful text, and students and designers will value the look at a traditional ethnic craft seen at its finest.

John Gillow is also the author of "Traditional Indian Textiles" (Thames and Hudson, 1991) with Nicholas Barnard. His books are available at Rizzoli, Costa Mesa, and other area bookstores.

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