Kebaya

A kebaya is a traditional blouse-dress combination that originated from the court of the Javanese Majapahit Kingdom, and is traditionally worn by women in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Burma, southern Thailand, Cambodia and the southern part of the Philippines. It is sometimes made from sheer material such as silk, thin cotton or semi-transparent nylon or polyester, adorned with brocade or floral pattern embroidery. A kebaya is usually worn with a sarong, or a batik kain panjang, or other traditional woven garment such as ikat, songket with a colorful motif. The kebaya is the national costume of Indonesia, although it is more accurately endemic to the Javanese, Sundanese and Balinese peoples.

The quintessential kebaya is the Javanese kebaya as known today is essentially unchanged as noted by Raffles in 1817. It consists of the blouse (kebaya) of cotton, silk, lace, brocade or velvet, with the central opening of the blouse fastened by a central brooch (kerongsang) where the flaps of the blouse meet, wore over kain .

    Kebaya blouseThe blouse is commonly semi-transparent and traditionally worn over the torso wrap or kemben. Kebaya blouse can be tailored tight-fitting or loose-fitting, made from various materials, from cotton or velvet, to fine silk, exquisite lace and brocade, desorated with stitching or glittering sequins. Today, the undergarment use under kebaya usually either corset, bra or camisole with matching colour. The more simple and modest undergarment wore by common village women, usually elderly women, is called kutang, which is a bra-like undergarment made from cotton.Kerongsang broochTraditional kebaya had no buttons down the front. To secure the blouse openings in the front, a decorative metal brooch is applied on the chest. It can be made from brass, iron, silver or gold, decorated with semi-precious stones. A typical three-piece kerongsang is composed of a kerongsang ibu (mother piece) that is larger and heavier than the other two kerongsang anak (child piece). Kerongsang brooch often made from gold jewelry and considered as the sign of social status of aristocracy, wealth and nobility, however for commoners and peasant women, simple and plain kebaya often only fastened with modest safety pin (peniti).Kain sarong or skirtKain is a long decorated clothes wrapped around the hips, secured with rope and wore as a kind of sarong or skirt. The skirt or kain is an unstitched fabric wrap around three metres long. The term sarong in English is erroneous, the sarung (Malaysian accent: sarong) is actually stitched together to form a tube, kainis unstitched, requires a helper to dress (literally wrap) the wearer and is held in place with a string (tali), then folded this string at the waist, then held with a belt (sabuk or ikat pinggang), which may hold a decorative pocket. In Java, Bali and Sunda, the kain is commonly batik which may be from plain stamped cotton to elaborately hand-painted batik tulis embroidered silk with gold thread. In Lampung, the kain is the traditional tapis, an elaborate gold-thread embroidered ikat with small mica discs. Sumatra, Flores, Lemata Timor, and other islands commonly use kain of ikat or songket. Sumba is famous for kain decorated with lau hada: shells and beads.