New weaving center inaugurated in Garut
Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Mari Elka Pangestu has inaugurated a new Perusahaan Gas Negara (PGN) funded traditional weaving center at Sukajaya subdistrict, Tarogong district, Garut, West Java.
The Garut Weaving Kampong, located 120 kilometers to the east of the West Java capital of Bandung, is part of Love Indonesian Weaving (CTI), an organization helping to revive local creative industries.
”Through its corporate social responsibility program, the state-owned gas company PGN has more than doubled the number of people involved handicraft production at the center, from 28 to 60 within one year,” announced CTI chairperson Okke Hatta Radjasa.
The development of hand-woven products with Garut characteristics was initiated by H. Aman Sahuri in 1960. However, the industry, which mostly produced sarongs, was progressively abandoned by the craftsmen and declined through difficulties with raw material supplies and competition from machine-woven products.
“We want to revive our local culture and heritage by providing better profitability for local businesses,” Okke said on Wednesday.
Mari admitted that the development of the silk industry in Indonesia had been hindered by the limited availability of raw materials. Almost all of which must be imported because of the scarcity of silkworm farms in Indonesia.
The minister hoped that growth in the weaving industry would help boost the whole weaving industry, including silkworm farming. “Aside from raw materials, the other strategies will include promoting the work of CTI by asking designers to make use of hand-crafted fabrics from Garut,” Mari said.
The minister was enthusiastic that creative innovations with exciting colors and motifs would help increase the turnover and profitability of the local industry. Such creative strategies can mean that silk products which used to sell at Rp 100,000 (US$10.6) per piece could increase to as much as Rp 400,000.
She also gave support for the registration of proprietary rights for Garut, and the characteristic Sekar flowers patterns and geometric designs associated with the region.