Originally Kerek was a forested region and the people who lived in this region had a role in guarding the forests. The cooperative, Sanggar Sekar Ayu, from Luwuk, East Java is one of the few remaining communities where natural dyed, traditional textiles are still being made and used. The threads are spun from cotton, and woven into a continuous 3 meter warp textile (gedog). After weaving, the motifs are drawn with wax, and repeatedly dyed with natural dyes. The textile is then used as a shoulder sling to carry a child or goods to the market or from the field to the home. The macramé fringes are called krawangan and are made after the cloth is woven and before the cloth is batiked.
Jarit is a single panel handspun batik textile worn by women. It is wrapped around the waist as a skirt. The jarit cloth denotes high status. The structure is a representation of the agricultural rice growing landscapes. The centerfield of a jarit textile has the same name as a dry field – pelemahan. The elongated diamond pattern (tumpuI) is representative of young bamboo and the section between the tumpul and centerfield is where special rice varieties and culturally significant plants are planted.
Originally Kerek was a forested region and the people who lived in this region had a role in guarding the forests. The textiles of Kerek still refer to the different classes of people and their relationship to land stewardship. Batik lurik is a handspun textile with batik patterns which in the past was made for the rice farmers. These were considered to have the highest social status amongst the lurik types of textiles. Batik lurik is made with handspun white or heirloom brown cotton and woven to create a checkered pattern. A batik pattern is then drawn within these checkered sections.