16 February 2013

Bali protect local textile industry

Bali provincial administration plans to aggressively preserve and protect the island’s rich textile tradition as part of its cultural legacy.

The preservation and protection efforts, conducted by the province industry and trade agency, will comprise of identifying and registering the entire range of textile patterns and styles, registering their intellectual property rights and developing and supporting the current traditional textile production. Every part of the island produces its own distinctive styles of woven textiles.

Tenganan indigenous village, home to a Bali Aga community in Karangasem, is renowned for its centuries-old geringsing textile, a double ikat cloth. The textile, regarded as sacred cloth, has a palette of red, dark brown and black. The production of geringsing, believed to have been brought here by the kings and warriors of the Majapahit kingdom in East Java in the 13th century, has been facing many challenges as young people in the village no longer show interest in textile making.

Nusa Penida islet is famous for its cepuk ceremonial cloth, while Singaraja, Klungkung, Karangasem and Gianyar are famous for their exquisite and refined songket woven clothes adorned with gold and silver threads, usually worn by the island’s royalty and well-to-do families.

Endek single and double woven cloth is also part of the island’s textile heritage. But there are many problems. Human resources are one of the crucial problems. Most of the present textile weavers are elderly. Only a very few young people are interested in continuing their mothers, there is no smooth regeneration process.
Raw materials and weaving equipment are also important challenges, with threads and dyeing materials having to be imported, while looms are the old manual style.

The first step is to register the Balinese textile patterns to obtain the intellectual property rights. This is so that it prevents other parties or countries from making any claim on our textiles. Neighboring Malaysia has been pursuing property rights for many traditional textiles commonly found in Indonesia, including batik.
The administration will work together with an intellectual property rights team from Udayana University to survey legal requirements.
The administration has delivered four new looms to traditional textile producers in Klungkung, Buleleng and Karangasem regencies. Until January 2013, the agency had registered 38 products created by individuals or manufactured to ensure their property rights.

In Nusa Penida islet there were still some dedicated traditional cepuk weavers in three villages — Pelilit, Karang and Ampel. But they produce the textiles after they receive orders. They cannot continue producing as they do not have money to buy raw materials for the textiles.

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