Kain Lawons are woman’s silk shoulder cloths from the Island of Sumatra. They were primarily created in vibrant two color concentric rectangles or three color diamond compositions using a resist technique similar to tie-dye. The selvedge silk panels are folded, a dividing line is hand stitched, the thread is pulled tight (a method called “tritik”) and either side of the stitch is dyed, resulting in deep soft-edged color fields that are often likened to the paintings of Rothko.
These rich silks were worn by Indonesian women as a symbol of status and often included in a bride’s dowry. They have also been seen hung above newly constructed homes as an omen of prosperity.