Rug and Textile Appreciation Morning: Changing Women's Fashion on the Indonesian Island of Sumba

Detail of an orange textile with detailed horizontal bands at the top and recurring dragon motifs at the bottom
Detail of a “lau pahikung” depicting Chinese horned dragons, probably inspired by the decoration on a Chinese ceramic.


The weavers of the small island of Sumba in eastern Indonesia produce some of the finest warp ikat and supplementary warp textiles in Southeast Asia. Known mostly for their dramatic pictorial men’s blankets (hinggi), their tube skirts for women (lau) have gained much less attention. Yet the variety and complexity of these lau are remarkable. In this virtual talk David and Sue Richardson will show a range of different lau, using historical images to illustrate how styles have changed over time. The Richardsons will also discuss some of the techniques used to produce these intricate textiles.

About David and Sue Richardson

David and Sue Richardson are passionate researchers and collectors of Asian textiles, having spent the past 35 years travelling to remote weaving villages across island and mainland Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent and Central Asia. They have authored numerous textile articles and released their book, Qaraqalpaqs of the Aral Delta, in 2012. The Richardsons have also lectured to textile societies in the United Kingdom and the United States. For the past decade they have led an annual textile cruise through the islands of eastern Indonesia, introducing textile enthusiasts to the weavers they have known for many years.

How to Participate

You can register for this program online. After you register, we will email you a link and instructions for joining online via Zoom. Simply follow that link at the time the event starts (11 a.m. EDT / 8 a.m. PDT). When you register, you can also request to receive a reminder email one day before the program with the link included. 

About Rug and Textile Appreciation Mornings

Collectors and experts discuss textile topics and display examples from their personal holdings. This series is named in honor of late Textile Museum trustee emeritus, Harold M. Keshishian. Browse upcoming programs