Please Update your browser

Your browser is out of date, and may not be compatible with our website. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found below.
Just click on the icons to get to the download page.

Jakarta Post

Banyuwangi workshop makes colorful sarongs for home & abroad

Fri, July 21, 2017   /   04:56 pm
  • /

    A craftsman stamps the Alas Purwo motif on white fabric at the Batik Satrio cottage industry in Senepo Rejo village, Banyuwangi, East Java, on Saturday, May 20. The workshop produces 13,000 beach sarongs a month. JP/Aman Rochman

  • /

    A craftsman hangs up sheets of fabric to dry the patterns applied in wax before the dyeing process. JP/Aman Rochman

  • /

    A craftman draws a floral pattern in malam (hot wax) to create a sarong using the wax-resist dyeing technique. JP/Aman Rochman

  • /

    A craftman pours vats of paint in preparation for dyeing beach sarongs. JP/Aman Rochman

  • /

    Rudi, 18, places finishing touches of color with a sponge on a beach sarong, while his fellow craftsmen attend to different stages of the wax-resist dyeing process at the Batik Satrio workshop in Senepo Rejo village. JP/Aman Rochman

  • /

    A close-up of the dyeing process shows how each color of a gradient scheme is applied painstakingly by hand. For all the craftsmanship and time invested in creating a sarong, each one is priced from Rp 40,000 to Rp 60,000. JP/Aman Rochman

  • /

    Ahmad, 18, hangs beach sarongs in the final drying step before they are ready to be packaged and sold. JP/Aman Rochman

  • /

    A craftsman feeds lengths of dyed fabric through a roller to press and flatten them. JP/Aman Rochman

  • /

    In the yard of the Batik Satrio workshop in Senepo Rejo village, beach sarongs featuring colorful patterns of plants, flowers and animals are hung up to dry naturally after dyeing. JP/Aman Rochman

  • /

    Three men stretch lengths of dyed sarong on wooden frames to dry and shape them under the sun. JP/Aman Rochman

Rice fields and cobbled roads welcome visitors when they enter Senepo Rejo village, about 30 kilometers south of the Banyuwangi town square in East Java. Dangdut music can be heard in the background, entertaining young workers who are busy dyeing sheets of white fabric.

This is the regular scene at Batik Satrio cottage industry, which is owned by 37-year-old Nanang. “I started the beach sarong business 12 years ago. I was inspired when I traveled to Bali and decided that I could open up a business in my hometown,” he said.

Nanang started the sarong business in 2005, after five years of struggling to run a bed linen business. When he started making beach sarongs, he could only produce 50 pieces per month. Today, he and his workers produce 13,000 beach sarongs a month.

Nanang has since been able to employ students, dropouts and jobless villagers in Senepo Rejo. He uses rayon and cotton fabric for the sarongs. He first creates the designs – they mostly depict flowers, butterflies and peacocks – and his workers stamp the pattern onto the fabrics.

“I design the pattern myself, because I have always loved drawing since I was a child,” Nanang said. The dyeing process takes several steps before the fabric is dried for 20 to 30 minutes. Then the sarongs are washed in hot and then cold water before they are dried again, and then they are ready for packaging.

Before, Nanang sold his sarongs only to domestic markets, mostly to Bali and Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara. Since 2013, however, his sarongs have been exported to Thailand and even France.

Each sarong is priced between Rp 40,000 (US$3) and Rp 60,000. Every time tourists buy a beach sarong in Bali, to them it might be a mere souvenir of their holidays, but they are actually helping to support the livelihood of Banyuwangi villagers.