In the 42 important steps of making tenun ikat (ikat woven) there is one step called, "menggambar" or basically drawing on the threads. In this step, the artists will draw whatever they want to be on the fabric later. Usually, artists of ikat woven textiles then let other artisans do the other following steps. But in some cases, the textile artists will do the rest of the steps by themselves, especially because men are not allowed to do weaving in East Sumba.
They have to count and draw at the same time because the drawing will be shrunk several centimeters after the 'menenun' or weaving process. If they don't count, the drawing will be distorted. Some of the textile artists who have the ability to draw on the threads are Kornelis Ndapakamang, Titus K Limu, and James Diki Talumbani.
Another way is to directly tie the 'drawing' on the thread without drawing it first which also called,"ikat langsung". Because it's so hard to do, nowadays this method can be done by few people only. Two of them we feature. These are Ruth Babang Liau and Anita Kaita Lepir.
We have been collaborating with these textile artists since 2016 and we keep encouraging them to slowly build their confidence by changing their self esteem encouraging them to respect themselves as the Textile Artists that they trully are.