Handmade Jakarta

Sarinah is an Indonesia department store chain that has all the usual clothes and accessories but also large sections (and in the case of the one in central Jakarta, several floors) devoted to Indonesian handcrafts, including carving, painting, fabric (mainly batik but lots of ikat too); pretty much everything, really.

I spent an afternoon on my recent trip to Jakarta happily lost in there.

This life-size tiger was never coming home with me but it was amazing. As I was crouching to take a photo at close quarters, a shop keeper standing behind me growled in the otherwise silent store. I got such a fright and he and his mate then peed themselves laughing. As did my friend and I. Once my heart rate had returned to normal.

Reams and reams of batik fabrics covered the tables.

Look, it isn’t for everyone but as a long-time Indophile I am very fond of it. Not the shirts so much but there are some beautiful dresses. And check out the lampshades. Want one of those.

This sparkly batik, unlike the wooden tiger, did come home with me.

As I mentioned in my last post, ikat is still very in evidence in the design world. There is lots of ikat-inspired fabric but the real stuff, the stuff that is made in the traditional way where the warp and weft threads are pre-dyed and then woven to create patterns, is much rarer. Not least because it’s such a complex process.

This rug was made entirely by hand using dyes derived from local plants in Sumba, one of the lesser Sunda Islands in Eastern Indonesia that is particularly famed for its ikat.

This perfect example so very nearly came home with me.

But it was AUD$400. Which in many ways is so reasonable for what it is. But expensive for me. Plus after a discussion with my handsome husband I got the impression he may have filed for divorce if I proceeded. And I’m quite fond of him so decided against it.

The ubiquitous crafty owls have even made it to Jakarta.

Fabric headbands.

And these fabric covered bead necklaces (my tutorial here) are so twirling betty. Loved ’em.



Need to go back…

5 thoughts on “Handmade Jakarta

  1. As always, a delightful post. Glad to hear that you were able to SOME “protective buying” (must keep those crafts alive!). xoxoJamini

    • Thank you. Wish I’d known about “protective buying”. I think I might have been able to justify it on that basis…next time! XX


  2. I love that the shopkeeper did that. Not that you were scared, but that he showed a sense of humor. Probably wouldn’t happen anywhere around here. 🙂

    Also, I love that the owls and the “trendy” handmade ideas are in evidence even there.

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