IMF-WB - Batik Lasem craftsmen use environmentally-friendly natural dyes

IMF-WB - Batik Lasem craftsmen use environmentally-friendly natural dyes

Batik Lasem craftsmen in Rembang District of Central Java Province, which come in various colors or shades, have started using natural dyes, which are more environmentally-friendly, in their handmade batik production. (ANTARA FOTO/R. Rekotomo)

Nusa Dua, Bali (ANTARA News) - Batik Lasem craftsmen in Rembang District of Central Java Province have started using natural dyes, which are more environmentally-friendly, in their handmade batik production.

A batik craftsman Sugiarto said here on Monday that the uses of natural dyes for making the batik Lasem products have begun since last year.

"Previously, we only use synthetic dye. The natural dye we used are made from various roots such as noni roots and mahogany," he said on the sideline of Pavilion Indonesia exhibition.

The exhibition is being held as a side event of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank annual meetings in Nusa Dua from October 8 to October 14, 2018.

As many as 150 micro, small and medium enterprises from 64 cities and districts across the country are invited to exhibit their products.

Batik craftsmen of Lasem Village have only produced handmade batik products in which the making process of one piece of batik cloth needs at least one month.

The price varies from Rp200 thousand to Rp6 million, depending on the motives of the batik. "The more complicated motives we make, the more expensive it is."

Basically, batik Lasem has a specific pattern called Sekar Jagad. But local craftsmen have also produced modified patterns to meet consumers` demands.

Since 2011, batik craftsmen in Lasem have been under the guidance of Bank BNI, a state-owned bank that is ready to provide them with a help in marketing and in upgrading skills.

The state-owned bank has established so called "Kampung BNI" in Lasem Village to help craftsmen to market their products through its showroom, built in the village.

"There are some 20 to 30 craftsmen in our group in this village," Sugiarto said, adding that most of them get trained to make batik by their parents.

Sugiarto expressed hope that his participation in the exhibition would open opportunities for exporting his handmade batik products.

"Surely, if we can get an order to export, we have to invite other groups of craftsmen," he said, noting that there are some 200 batik craftsmen in Rembang District.

Currently, batik Lasem produced in the village are sold to local markets, such as Yogyakarta and Jakarta.
 

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