Saturday, October 22, 2011

Kuta Lines Surfshop, Redhead, where a local legend keeps shop in a unique building using recycled timber from old Lee Wharf on Newcastle Harbour. Large beams, sandstone blocks and other large pieces have found a place there as well as surf-inspired art works and a collection of surfboards from down through the decades.

Kuta Lines surfing goods have gone global after small beginnings in the seventies when two surfing brothers from Newcastle visited Bali and were impressed by traditional Balinese textiles and asked for a few clothes to be made and then worn back here.  When other people asked about these it led to the start of the business which involved Balinese workers.
The work of Tony Brown and Kuta is recorded in the National Gallery in Canberra and describes how hooded 'Streaky' jumpers used fabric developed in Indonesia.  Traditional ikat weaving and dying techniques were adapted to create a fleecy, heavier weight fabric that would keep surfers warm on cold southern beaches. Streakies came in many colours and became something of a cult fashion item on and off the beach.
It is said that the art of traditional textiles, in Indonesia, is in decline because it is very labour intensive and time consuming and modern conventional textile workshops have taken over and Kuta fashions are still made there.

National Museum, Canberra.

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