The weaving process is filled with long silence, yet their voices are channeled loudly through every thread that forms the fabric; woven ikat.
Copa de Flores brings the stories of Flores women through the weave of threads. Each motif and colour tells its own story. A piece would take months to finish and the long process will mirror each woman’s energy.
Founded by Maria Gabriella Isabella (Bella), Copa de Flores is a local fashion brand that features ‘kain tenun ikat’ or ‘tie woven fabric’ from Flores, Nusa Tenggara Timur, an Eastern region in Indonesia. Flores’ woven ikat differs from other regions for the ikat technique that is performed before the weaving for creating the pattern. The brand embedded #FashionablyHumanist in its vision and mission which directs the business towards an ethical relationship with the artists or the weavers, in this case.
The brand initially only wanted to rebrand woven ikat as trendy and comfortable clothing for youngsters. Along the way, they met the Women’s National Commission and discovered the core reason for the brand which later become their base to make the brand impactful for the local artists.
Some of the women weavers are victims of severe human rights violation of the past, sexual harrassment and human trafficking in Flores. The number of human trafficking is the highest in Flores, national wise. The condition inspired Copa de Flores to initiate visual meditation through weaving ikat woven.
The visual meditation itself aims to give access for recovery to the victims. The process of tying or making the pattern is the weaving-based visual meditation for healing. They would pour out their feelings, thoughts and their story through the making pattern process. That’s why there are non-traditional patterns such as ‘Cheating’. The weavers will then recover along the lengthy time to finish a fabric, as it could take months. This is the time for them to truly reflect and focus on themselves.
Each thread is weaved with traditional weaving machine. The colouring also uses organic substances. This slow traditional process makes Copa De Flores’ products cannot be produced in a bulk. Thus, these limited items became one of a kind collectible clothing.
The limited production is also reflected on the high price, as they initially targeted upper middle class consumers. But, they eventually innovate to reach wider consumers by varying the percentage of ikat woven used on the clothing.
Currently, they have expanded the exposure for local Flores artisans through their artisan trip program. Its aim is to introduce participants to learn and explore the local wisdom, art and culture of Flores. The artisan trip will accommodate a purposeful trip whilst enjoying the fresh natural scenery of the land. More updates on the brand here.
Do you know that traveling is also a way for you to heal? Read more about it here.