30 years of


A Textile Voyage through the East Indies

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Welcome | 10:00 am - 10:30 am
Lecture | 10:30 am - 11:15 am (open to public)

A Textile Voyage through the East Indies
Guest Speakers | David & Sue Richardson

Show & Share | 11:15 am - 12:00 pm
Meeting Adjourn | 12:00 pm 


Please send an invitation request to by 8:00 pm May, Thursday 6, 2021



We are British researchers and authors, with a lifelong interest in textiles - particularly those of Central Asia and Southeast Asia. We spent 14 years studying the little-known Qaraqalpaq people of Uzbekistan, culminating in the publication by Prestel of our book Qaraqalpaqs of the Aral Delta in 2012. 


At the same time we were also continuing to research the textiles of Indonesia, which we first visited in 1989. Since then we have travelled to almost every part of this huge archipelago. We are gradually making the results of our research freely available on our website Asian Textile Studies. We now concentrate on the islands to the east of Bali, leading a textile cruise there every year.

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Our Story

Over the past 30 years we have travelled to every part of the Orient, from Turkey to New Guinea, primarily looking at weaving, textiles and rugs. We first visited Indonesia before we were married in 1989. Shortly afterwards, David began working with the Ministry of Education in Jakarta on two projects to re-equip the university laboratories throughout the islands of western and then eastern Indonesia. This gave us our first chance to visit the many varied ikat-weaving islands of Nusa Tenggara.

Since then we have travelled to Indonesia regularly and have now visited almost every single part of the archipelago - Sumatra, Bangka, Belitung, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Java, Bali, Lombok, Sumbawa, Komodo and Rinca, Flores, Adonara, Solor, Lembata, Pantar, Alor, Wetar, Reong, Romang, Kittal, Kisar, Damar, Leti, Babar, Tanimbar, the Kei Islands, Aru, Gam, West Papua, Papua, Misool, Waigeo, Wofoh, Penamu, Pef, Halmahera, Morotai, Ternate, Tidore, Bacan, Sayafi, Yu, Wayag, Kayoa, Obi, Obilatu, Sanana, Mangoli, Sulu, Buru, Ambon, Manipa, Seram, Teun, Nila, Serua, Manuk, Banda, Tioare, Uram, Sumba, Savu, Raijua, Roti, and Timor.

At the same time we have also had numerous textile expeditions to many states across India, as well as to Sri Lanka, Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Mainland Malaysia and Sarawak, and Brunei.

In 1996 we began to explore Central Asia, becoming intrigued by the history and material culture of remote Qaraqalpaqstan and Khorezm, both located just south of the Aral Sea in far western Uzbekistan. We spent at least a month in the region every year, also exploring Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. We initially published the results of our research on two websites - and Our research culminated in the production of our book - Qaraqalpaqs of the Aral Delta - which was published by Prestel in 2012 and remains the main source of information on the Qaraqalpaqs in the English language.



We lead this textile tour once every year because it is a fabulous voyage that we never grow tired of. Although we take our textiles seriously, this tour is also great fun, with a group of like-minded travellers sharing an amazing adventure. However its not all textiles - we also make time for visiting non-weaving villages, markets, schools, churches and mosques, as well as swimming, snorkelling and relaxing. 


Contact Sue & David

David and Sue Richardson

Website |

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