The Jakarta Textile Museum was founded in 1976 as the result of a concerted effort spearheaded by Ali Sadikin, the Governor of Jakarta at the time. It was established in honor of Mme. Tien Soeharto, lndonesia’s First Lady, who officiated at the opening on June 28, 1976.
Textiles have always been an important part of life in lndonesia, whether as components of dress or as ritual and ceremonial objects. Traditional textiles constitute a rich aspect of lndonesian culture and a testament to the degree of technological expertise and artistic skill attained by their makers. They also provide a window into local history.
By the mid-1970s, the use of traditional textiles, the understanding of their use, and the quantity and quality of production were very evidently in decline. Some had even become extremely rare. This motivated a group of Jakarta’s leading citizens to establish an organization dedicated to the preservation and study of lndonesian textiles. The Himpunan Wastraprema (Society of Textile Lovers) donated 500 high-quality textiles, gleaned from the collections of its members. The city of Jakarta responded by providing accommodation in a lovely old building in the Tanah Abang district.*
*Excerpt from: Judi Achjadi, The Jakarta Textile Museum (Jakarta: Indonesian Heritage Society, 2004). Full Text