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Dame Ulos

Renny Manurung is a Batak Toba handloom weaver from the village of Banjarnahor, Tarutung, North Tapanuli on North Sumatra. Renny's schooling was interrupted in 2012 when her parents' finances dwindled as a result of the decline in sales of  Ulos (Batak traditional handloom woven cloth). She studied the problem and realized that there weren't that many interested in their cloth because they ceased to make the older, traditional, and more intricate clothes. The market was then flooded with machine-made/ treadle looms creating Ulos. It was with this realization that she decided to go home to start developing the traditional Ulos fabric.


Since she met the anthropologist, Sandra Niessen, who documented in great detail the Ulos weaving tradition in her book, ‘Legacy of Cloth, she has revitalized several traditional designs. These designs have been appreciated in Europe and across Asia. She wishes to work with other young people with similar missions to conserve cultural heritage through traditional textiles and crafts.