17 Ingenious ways to decorate with indigenous Asian prints

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New and modern ways to show off your heritage

Indeed you have probably seen them in people’s homes, in modern as well as hip cafes and not know their names. But as beautiful as these indigenous Asian prints may be, they are such an amazing heritage to have.

With regards to this, they should never be lumped into one general descriptor because this can be perceived as being rude. Instead, those who express genuine interest in indigenous Asian prints should at least know some background history and it's origins. Not only is this a form of respect, but it is also giving recognition to every single one of them when you refer to them by their individual names.

For many years, some of these fabrics and prints were designed and made from scratch solely by women. Hence it was considered taboo for men to touch the loom. Initially woven to be worn, these woven clothes later became major tribute items and even had trade value. Woven into the fabric, these indigenous Asian prints can be seen in royal funerals, rituals, and other ceremonial events.

On that note, here are some basic background information on indigenous Asian prints that you should know:

Ikat Print 

Creating an ikat print is a complicated process which involves binding the threads, piecemeal dying, and weaving everything together after the threads have been dyed. Because of this, ikat fabrics are instantly recognizable by their up-and-down, almost bleeding-dye quality.

Shibori Print 

Hails from Japan, the shibori print involves folding, twisting, clamping and manipulating cloth into lovely, organic patterns. Generally speaking, shibori was originally done with blue or indigo dye. However, some artists have broken away from this traditional method and introduce other colours. 

Batik Print 

Batik is a dyeing technique which uses drawn-on wax. Also, the batik print is extremely popular all over Southeast Asia. However, it is the Javanese batik print that's most prominent in fashion today. Bolder, more intricate patterns are usually worn by nobility, while simpler designs are meant for everyday use. The prints range from florals and paisleys to geometric shapes. Batiks can come in thousands of different styles, but all have that tell-tale delicately layered look.

Pua Kumbu 

The Pua Kumbu is something very sacred and spiritual to the weavers. Therefore, it’s creation is usually a guarded secret. As a matter of fact, it starts off with an inspiration, before moving on to the yarn preparation, dyeing process, and finally the actual weaving. Pua, which means blanket and kumbu which means to cover, also has various designs, one for each occasion such as a wedding, childbirth and even funerals.

Songket 

The songket is synonymous to luxury because it is traditionally worn to ceremonial occasions as a sarong, shoulder cloths or head ties and a headdress. They were worn at the courts by royal families in Sumatra and Malaysia. Actually, the term songket comes from the word sungkit, which means "to hook" and explains how songket is made. It is the process which involves hooking and picking up a group of threads and slipping gold and silver threads in between.  Traditionally only women were weavers of songket, however, today there are men weavers as well.

Despite their traditional roots, some of these indigenous Asian prints have been revamped and given a modern twist to keep up with the modern times. However, there are still many designs that remain original and true to form. Here are some ideas how you can beautify your homes with indigenous Asian prints like the Ikat, Shibori, Batik, Pua Kumbu and Songket.

17 ways to decorate with indigenous Asian prints

1. Ikat armchair with matching ottoman

 

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2. Pua kumbu as a bed embellishment

 

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3. Shibori pillows

 

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4. Pua Kumbu on a feature wall

 

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5. Framed up batik in the living room

 

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6. Ikat tablecloth or table runner

 

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7. Batik coasters

 

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8. Prints on your staircases

 

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9. Framed songket along the stairway

 

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10. Ikat napkins

 

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11. Modernised mono batik cushion covers

 

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12. Songket inspired bathroom walls

 

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13. Ikat printed plates

 

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14. Shibori curtains

 

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15. Songket ornamental boxes

 

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16. Ikat prints on a vase

 

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17. Shibori floor rugs

 

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Want to make your home more authentically Asian? Make it great by infusing these indigenous Asian Prints into your motif!