Sarong, approx. 1890-1915


Asian Art Museum

Asian Art Museum
San Francisco, United States

The pattern of this remarkable batik textile is called tambal, a word that means “patch” or" "“repair” in Indonesian. The motif may have been adapted from actual patchwork fabrics, composed of fragments of valuable textiles and once worn by both priests and royalty in Java. Each square pairs a triangle with a schematic design with a triangle with a plant or animal motif.

Whatever the origin of the pattern, the textile is a tour de force for the artist, demonstrating her skill at hand drawing in wax dozens of unique designs. The color palette as well as the depictions of animals suggest connections with Chinese communities on the north coast of Java.


  • Title: Sarong, approx. 1890-1915
  • Date Created: 1890/1915
  • Physical Dimensions: H. 123.8 cm x W. 103.5 cm
  • Type: Textiles
  • Medium: cotton
  • Credit Line: Gift of Joan and M. Glenn Vinson, Jr., F2016.34.29

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