Calendar Pages -- Tribal Weavings of the Lesser Sunda Islands Tour

May 01st, 2017

Tribal Weavings of the Lesser Sunda Islands Tour

The most exciting textile tour you are ever likely to find – the trip of a lifetime! 

The remote ikat-weaving islands of eastern Indonesia have one of the most diverse textile cultures on the planet. Hand-woven cloth plays a pivotal role in the cohesion of all these societies, cementing clan alliances through complex gift exchanges, revealing tribal loyalties and underpinning the annual cycle of rituals. As some islanders emphasize: ‘without cloth we cannot marry’.

Sadly the encroachment of the modern world means that the number of communities where women still continue to spin their own cotton, prepare their own natural dyes and weave on traditional back-tension looms is limited. Their numbers are dwindling and within a generation they could be gone.
Join British textile experts David and Sue Richardson for a fantastic, adventurous voyage on a traditionally designed Indonesian schooner (phinisi), custom-built by Buginese shipbuilders. With a maximum of 22 passengers, our newly fitted French- and American-owned boat has all modern amenities with comfortable en-suite air-conditioned cabins, lots of shaded deck space, an enclosed lounge and bar, and all the latest safety equipment.


Our itinerary takes us along the coast of Flores and on to the islands of Lembata, Alor, Timor, Savu, and Sumba, returning via Rinca to visit the Komodo dragons. In village after village we will see every aspect of ikat production and natural dyeing and have the opportunity to purchase fabulous textiles directly from the women who made them. Before each visit guests will be fully briefed so that they completely understand the type of textiles and techniques they will encounter and the role that cloth plays within the local community. Our journey will take us through a dramatic volcanic landscape during which there will be time to write-up journals, relax, swim, snorkel, sunbathe, and beachcomb.

There are also lots of photos on our Facebook page, which will give you a good idea of what to expect. We will be adding images from the 2016 tour over the coming weeks.
Please note there are six twin cabins with one upper and one lower berth, and six double cabins with one large lower berth. 



This tour is not sponsored by The Thai Textile Society