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Past Event

Saturday University: Textiles from Indonesia & Malaysia

Apr 14 2018

Seattle Art Museum

Plestcheeff Auditorium

10 AM – 11:30 AM

An amazing spectrum of textile arts originated in Asia, the source of many weaving and dyeing techniques. Cotton and silk textiles, especially from India and China, have been major export trade items for a couple of millennia. Now textile manufacturing, textile arts, and fashion from Asia are shared globally in new ways. Become familiar with the textures of textiles, past and present, from trade to technique and design to labor.

Lectures are at the Seattle Art Museum, Plestcheeff Auditorium.
There is no lecture on May 5.

Ikat Textiles from Indonesia and Malaysian Sarawak
Susan Rodgers, College of the Holy Cross

Superb dyeing and weaving skills in this region produce intricately patterned ikat textiles, admired across the world. How have they been part of ritual, heritage art markets, and now globalized fashion?

Handloomed ikat textiles are made by first tied-dyeing patterns into threads with small resists, before weaving the cloth. Many Indonesian ethnic societies once produced superb ikats for ceremonial use and ritual dress. Weavers' expertise with natural dyes was also remarkable. The Iban people of Malaysia's Sarawak state also excelled in ikat work.

Today, ikat textiles exist in flux, as they have for many decades. Drawing on anthropological fieldwork in Sarawak, Kaliman, and Bali, Susan Rodgers will discuss the social processes embedded in these beautiful cloths, including the role of fair trade NGOs and social businesses.

About the Presenter

Susan Rodgers is Professor Emerita of Anthropology at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. She has conducted seven years of research in Indonesia during her career. She has also guest curated six exhibitions of Indonesian textiles, and a major exhibition of jewelry from islands of Southeast Asia. Her books include Telling Lives, Telling History: Autobiography and Historical Imagination in Modern Indonesia, and Gold Cloths of Sumatra: Indonesia’s Songkets from Ceremony to Commodity.

Saturday University is held in partnership with the University of Washington Jackson School of International Studies and Elliott Bay Book Company.


MAR 31

India's Global Textile Trade


Textiles of Southwest China: Artistry and Social Meaning

APR 14

Ikat Textiles from Indonesia and Malaysian Sarawak

APR 21

A Living Treasure of Japanese Textiles

APR 28

Fashionable Fripperies: The Decorative Trimming in 19th-Century China

MAY 12

From Factory to Fashion Blogs


206.442.8480 [email protected]g

Series tickets available to the public January 30.
Full series tickets: $65; SAM members $35
Individual lecture tickets available at the door: $11, SAM members $6; free at the door for students with ID
Please arrive to your seat 10 minutes before the program starts, or your seat may be released.