Curms – Breath in the Ocean
Curms – breath in the Ocean. The founder of Curms is Carmen van der Klooster. She grew up in a small coastal town in the Netherlands. At the age of six her parents took her to Indonesia for the first time. This is when she got her first ikat and when her love for traditional textile began. The beautiful patterns and colours, all made with a lot of creativity, effort and, most of all, passion of the weavers.
Eleven years later she went back to surf Indonesia’s incredible waves and decided to come back every winter. Surfing had become a passion. Every year she brought back some typical Indonesian textiles and started to sew her own little bags and accessories, which she called ‘goodies’. Six years and seven visits to Indonesia later Carmen decided to combine these two passions of traditional textile and surfing and started her own brand: Curms.
Surfbikini selected Curms because of the story behind the brand, the social engagement of founder Carmen van der Klooster and off course because of the unique combination of functional + flirty designs for our surfistas and yogis.
The story ‘behind’ counts
Carmen: ”There is one question that has kept me busy for a long time. What is more important, an object or the idea behind it? I personally think that it’s important that a product is not just ‘a product’. I focus on the content. What is the story behind it? Is it made with a purpose? But is the idea behind it than more important than the object itself?
I found the answer to this question: Combine! A product made with craftsmanship, quality and with a meaning.
That’s what Curms stands for. Combine what matters to you.”
In every product of Curms we focus on meaning. What we produce has significance for us and, therefore, for others. We want to create something that has real human value. Every product of Curms is fully handmade!
The ikat weaving process
All bikinis of Curms are produced in Indonesia. The patterns and colors of the leggings and Happykinis are based on the traditional Indonesean ikat. The essential characteristic of ikat is the dyeing of patterns before the weaving takes place. The patterns are created by means of a resist dyeing process on either the warp or weft twine, or on both. Ikat is an ancient technique used to pattern textiles. We used cotton warp ikat, the technique most common in Indonesia. The ikat process begins with bundles of warp threads being strung up on a frame, close together and properly tightened. Then the pattern is drawn on to them in outline. Bindings that resist dye penetration are applied in locations defined by the motif.
After the bindings required to protect all material that should not be coloured in the first round of dying are in place, the threads are taken off the frame and dipped in a dye bath. After dying, the bindings are cut away. The threads are strung onto the frame again and arranged carefully so that they match exactly.New bindings are put in place for all locations that should not receive colour in the second round of dying. Then the tied threads are taken off the frame again, dipped in the next dye bath – and so on until the desired multicoloured pattern has been created.
The next step is to arrange the warp threads on the loom. The warp threads are attached to two parallel wooden bars or sticks, one of which is either tied to stakes in the ground, or, in its most primitive form, held behind the feet of the weaver, and the other is attached to a belt around the weaver’s waist. These weaving looms are in the span of the weaver’s arms. As a consequence all wider Indonesian ikat textiles consist of two or more panels stitched together along the selvages. As you can see, ikat is an extremely difficult art to master because it requires a great deal of practice and patience. Each ikat is a work of art and will take months up to one and a half year to create.
The ikat patterns
Every island, weaving village or family has its own patterns and colours that tells them their history. This makes every ikat special and unique. The ikats we use for our creations are from the islands of Savu and Flores.
The background of the Savu ikat
Savu is a small island in Eastern Indonesia. According to the secret and sacred genealogies of the island, the society was divided into two groups descended from two sisters, Muji Babo and Lou Babo, a long time before the (male) clans were created. The two sisters were given respectively a large and a small bunch of nuts of the areca palm by their older brother, Wunu babo. This Savu had at its origin the classical structure of a matrilineal society where woman together with the (ideally elder) brother were in charge of the social organisation of the group. The names of the two groups were derived from the gift of the areca nut; hubi ae, or ‘large palm blossom’ and hubi iki, or ‘small palm blossom’. The distinction between large and small does not refer to a hierarchical status, or a class, but simply to the birth rank of the sisters.