#CatatanKain: Our Love for Slub Yarn
When I was studying textile design in Nottingham, UK, it was my very first time I saw a vast diversity of fibers and yarns which I have never seen before in Indonesia. It was very exciting to see all the different textures, unconventional materials that were being used and sustainable innovation of fibers which were inspired by tradition and technology.
Sadly, the landscape of fibers in Indonesia is very different, the diversity of fibers and yarns are poorly cultivated. More than half of the yarns that are circulating in Indonesian small to big scale textile producers are not even coming from our own local agriculture.
There is a huge difference of quality in imported yarn in comparison to the local one. Textural exploration and the decorative process of fibers are not visible at all in our industry. Before starting Lana Daya, I began reading several dissertations about fibers published by Indonesian universities. Most of them are not being pursued further due to the lack of research support and government interest.
One example is the cotton slub yarn which we source from Kyoto, Japan and is being used in the making of ‘Kue Rangi’ series. Slub yarn refers to yarn that has been purposefully spun with slubs, a thicker section. It has irregular appearances due to the uneven thickness. Slub yarn was considered as a ‘defect’ long before in yarn production but it is now intentionally created to give yarns more character and personality.
In Indonesia, slub yarn is not commonly found or used by traditional weavers as they are accustomed to hand-spun or standard industrial yarn. The making of ‘Kue Rangi’ has the intentional purpose to show to Indonesian people the beauty of texture play. Though at this point we are still in the slow process of weaving with it, our first little step is using the cording technique to stitch the yarn on top of the fabric surface.
With a touch of creative processes the same cotton fiber can be transformed into a variety of different yarns. If we look back to our historical tradition, our nature can be the backbone for the rural economy if we can foster it righteously.Ibu Chandra, founder of Sekar Kawung, once shared to my partner and me, “through cultivating our culture, we are also conserving our nature” and so, we hope that Lana Daya can grow to help vocalising our traditional culture and crafts with the hope that it can also paint a better future for our fibers.