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Museum Tekstil Jakarta

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Indonesia has rich and varied traditions of textile production, and Jakarta’s Textile Museum is an excellent opportunity to see not only a range of techniques and learn how these skilful works are produced but also to have a go at creating your own batik—textile lovers will be in their element.

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The museum occupies a historic 19th century colonial villa which holds temporary textile exhibitions and within the complex other buildings house a permanent batik collection, a display of traditional equipment used in making various textiles, a research library, gift shop and workshop as well as gardens of fibre-producing plants and various plants used in making dyes including indigo.

Not as easy as it looks. Photo taken in or around Museum Tekstil Jakarta, Jakarta, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

Not as easy as it looks. Photo: Sally Arnold

The main building enjoys good natural light and the original patterned tiles seem to highlight the patterns on the cloth displayed. Although the temporary exhibition we saw offered beautiful examples of textile art and was well displayed, none of the detailed information were in English including a video presentation without subtitles. This is such a pity as it is a missed opportunity for Indonesia to share this rich culture, and it seemed a lot of effort had gone into the research for the exhibition.

The adjacent building is home to the Batik Galley with a large permanent collection of extremely fine work from all over Indonesia displayed in glass cabinets. The pieces are labelled, but the English is a bit hit-and-miss although once you’ve read a few, you can work out the information as the only details offered are the origin, style, technique, material, type of dye (natural or chemical) and date if known. Unfortunately unless you already know about batik and the designs, you won’t learn much other than having the opportunity to admire the beautiful skilled work, again missed potential to educate visitors.

Enjoy the collection ... and the floor tiles. Photo taken in or around Museum Tekstil Jakarta, Jakarta, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

Enjoy the collection ... and the floor tiles. Photo: Sally Arnold

Continuing through the complex, behind the temporary exhibition building, a small dusty gallery displays weaving looms used throughout Indonesia, we didn’t realise that there is such a variety and it really brings home what skill is involved in producing a piece of ... Travelfish members only (Around 500 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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How to get there
Museum Tekstil Jakarta is tucked away to the west of Central Jakarta a 600 metre walk from Tanah Abang Station. If you are planning on taking a taxi, be warned traffic can be terrible in this area and a motorbike taxi is a better bet.

Museum Tekstil Jakarta
2–4 Jalan Aipda KS Tubun, Jakarta
Tu–Su: 09:00–15:00
T: (0215) 606 613 F: (0215) 654 401;
Admission: 5,000 rupiah

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