"Batik has long been recognized by the people of South Africa. We admit that our presence here is yet limited, but we do believe that our high-quality fabrics and batik products have vast potential to be further marketed," Indonesian Consul General in Cape Town Krishna Adi Poetranto said as noted in a press release issued by the Indonesian Embassy in Pretoria and received here on Saturday.
Batik yet again succeeded in drawing the attention of foreign visitors to the Cape Town International Convention Center, where the three-day ATF exhibition will be held.
The “Wastra Nusantara” sequence at the fashion show on the second day of the exhibition was enlivened by the latest collection of batik designers and entrepreneurs from Lampung, Pekalongan, and Bandung.
At the exhibition, the Indonesian showcase was replete with contrasting colors but appeared harmonious, connected by rich patterns and textures symbolizing the archipelago. Clothing and accessories, worn by local models sashaying the long runways in the middle of the exhibition hall, appeared quite alluring.
Batik Siger, with experience in showcasing its collections in various countries, presented clothing lines for men and women, with a typical Siger style of Lampung Province, at this exhibition.
The uniqueness of the Batik Siger business model, especially its empowerment of housewives and persons with disabilities through involvement in their business processes, was the reason behind the Indonesian government bestowing the Upakarti award on this company in 2014.
Lovely Zia from Bandung displayed contemporary batik clothing, including patchwork skirts, shirts, dresses, and outer wear for both genders. Aruni Batik Pekalongan is showcasing batik clothing for men and batik fabric, while Annie.B Cape Town is featuring Balinese fabrics, silver jewelry, accessories, and rattan bags.
ATF is the largest annual exhibition of textiles, apparel, and footwear in Africa, which annually attracts some two thousand visitors and at least 500 exhibitors from various countries.
Through the ATF exhibition, the Indonesian Embassy in Pretoria, Indonesian Consulate General in Cape Town, and the Indonesian Trade Promotion Center (ITPC) in Johannesburg have collaborated to popularize and market batik in a more systematic way in African markets.
Indonesian Batik that was inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2009 is expected to go global and drive the exports of small and medium industries. Through the exhibition, the Indonesian government has attempted to introduce Indonesian textile businessmen to their South African counterparts to unveil further business opportunities.
According to the Ministry of Industry, the export value of woven and batik commodities had reached US$53.3 million in 2018, with some main export destination nations comprising Japan, the Netherlands, and the United States.
The National Economic and Industrial Committee (KEIN) remarked that the performance growth of the textile and clothing industry had increased, with the figure crossing double digits last year. Hence, the government has extended full support to the textile industry sector owing to its labor intensive nature and the dominance of domestic use of raw materials.
EDITED BY INE