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  • The Nusantara Bulletin

Jumputan: Nusantara’s Fabric

Updated: May 17, 2023



Jumputan is a type of Indonesian batik that is made using the tie-dyeing method instead of the traditional wax resist method. The term "jumputan" itself is derived from the word “jumput”, referring to the action of pinching something, such as fabric, with your fingertips. Jumputan's signature look is the result of the deceptively simple yet highly rewarding process of knotting and dying. Little, intricate knots are tied in the fabric before it is dyed. Because the knots prevent the dye from penetrating the fabric, a unique design is revealed. This process can be repeated with a variety of colors and knots to make a stunning array of unique designs.


Historically, the technique of creating the Jumputan motif dates back to 3000 BC, with the Romans importing fabric from the East, some suggest China. This technique soon became more popular, spreading far and wide throughout the world, such as India, Japan, and Africa, before finally arriving in Nusantara.


Jumputan can be considered a “common” fabric in Indonesia as it has deep cultural roots in many parts of the country. However it is most closely linked to Java, Bali, and Sumatra in the country's center and eastern areas. Yogyakarta, Solo, and Pekalongan are just a few of the several areas of Java that contribute to the island's jumputan production. Certain areas are noted for their ornate designs with tiny complex details, while others are recognized for their bigger, bolder and more striking patterns.


Traditional Balinese apparel, such as sarongs and kebaya, frequently feature jumputan, which is also made on the island. Flowers and leaves are common motifs in Balinese jumputan designs. The Palembang region of Sumatra is responsible for the production of jumputan, which is renowned for its bright colors and striking patterns. Palembang jumputan is a highly regarded and precious textile in Indonesian society, and it is frequently used in traditional apparel.


Unlike other Batik fabrics with complicated designs, the jumputan motif can be considered as more relaxed or simple, giving more emphasis to the base color of the fabric, instead of the drawings itself. This gives the jumputan more versatility in the occasion it can be worn in, from formal events to simple everyday wear.


Jumputan is an example of a significant textile and a cherished component of Indonesian culture that can be experienced in many different forms across the country. Despite its simplicity, the jumputan is one of the most versatile batik there is, and it is completely up to the person to decide how to wear it. Its unique way of creation also shows how varied the batik making process is, truly showing the diversity of Indonesia.


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