Lurik Java clothing

Aside from batik, Javanese people also has lurik as their traditional clothing. Lurik is a pattern in a piece of fabric. We can find lurik in Java since a long time ago. Lurik is not as expensive as batik. Lurik as Java clothing is cheaper than batik. It is quite easy to find lurik in Yogya or Solo.

Various types of lurik as Java clothing
Various types of lurik fabric as Javanese traditional clothing

History of Lurik as Java clothing

People in Java worn lurik since the kingdom era. We can find the explanation of lurik in the Indonesia National Encyclopedia 1997. Firstly, villagers worn lurik. But then, the sultanate family also worn lurik. Originally, the women villagers worn lurik just to cover their chest or breast. Sometimes, they used it as a piece of fabric to carry a thing. From the historic sites, we can found lurik as a weaving works in the Majapahit kingdom era in Java in between 13th century. We also can find lurik history in the ancient traditional puppet show. Moreover, there is a relief of people weaving in the Borobudur temple in Central Java. It shows to us that the Javanese predecessor already weaved for lurik. There is also an inscription from Erlangga dynasty in about 10th century in East Java that mentioned about Tuluh Watu as one type of lurik.

What is Lurik?

Lurik is a simple weaving fabric. It only contains of strip pattern, or sometimes plain color – black or white. The strip pattern can be horizontally or vertically. But, even it is just a simple pattern, it has specific meanings and utilization. Lurik as a fabric or a clothing has its own purpose. For women, they used lurik to cover their chest or to carry her baby or other thing with her. While, for a men, they worn lurik as a clothing. A men in Solo wear lurik as beskap, while in Yogya they wear it as surjan. Both are similar.

Nowadays, we can find lurik in some places in Yogya, Solo or Klaten. Even that lurik is not as popular as batik, but there’s some sellers in certain tourist spots. We can find them like in Malioboro street or Bringharjo market in Yogya, or in Klewer market in Solo. Because of decreasing of its market and popularity, there is only few producers left. The price also quite cheap comparing to batik. We can buy a lurik as Java clothing at about 5 – 10 dollar each. Klaten – a city in between Yogya and Solo – is famous with their lurik as traditional weaving works. We can find some traditional lurik producers using manual non-machine loom there (ATBM: alat tenun bukan mesin).

A traditional non-machine loom to produce lurik as Java clothing
Alat tenun bukan mesin (manual non-machine loom)
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