A Note on the History of the Textile Industry in West Sumatra
This chapter presents a brief history of the textile industry in West Sumatra in general, which has been little studied, and deals with the reasons why Kubang was unable to cope with competition from Java while Silungkang succeeded in overcoming the difficulties. The textile industry continued expanding until the Dutch suppression of the padris in 1837. The lace industry in West Sumatra was introduced for the first time in 1908 by a Dutch Christian missionary. By the end of the First World War the lace industry had almost disappeared. In effect the Dutch had introduced an industry inappropriate to the West Sumatran setting. Kubang is a village in the Suliki district which from ancient times has been famous for its fine silk sarongs. The village of Silungkang near Sawah Lunto was also a centre of the weaving industry. Besides ordinary sarongs and other clothes for daily use Silungkang traditionally produced luxurious clothes for customary ceremonies.