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Problems on the way for Pekalongan batik industry
21
Apr '09
A major centre of central Java's batik industry, Pekalongan is a hub for more than 1,500 batik businesses. The batik industry in Pekalongan has played a major role in boosting city's pride and economy but it is facing certain problems such as need for an alternative to kerosene and the industrial waste that is causing river pollution.

Due to rising prices of materials and shortage of kerosene the batik businesses in Pekalongan are facing higher production costs as well as, due to fall in batik sales, cause of recession, 60 percent of the 270,000 batik industry workers face the possibility of loosing their jobs.

A Pakalongan batik maker's monthly earning ranges from Rp 10 million to Rp 50 million. The batik industry is one of the major sources of employment in the city and the source of revenue generation.

This industry has been facing many ups and downs since long. The industry had experienced a deep downturn, three years back, when Chinese batik imports entered into the domestic market. The prices of those batik imports from China were between Rp 10,000 and Rp 100,000 per piece, which was about half of the price of local batiks.

The local buyers are not buying these Chinese imports now as the industry insiders and supporters convinced them to choose local products and as the government took efforts for protecting the local batik industry.

To compete with the imported products, the Pekalongan city administration is trying to improve the quality of local products, for which the administration has allocated Rp 1.4 billion.

Various innovations have also been brought by the batik makers in the local products to follow fashion trends. Several companies are using bright colors and other improved tools to target the youth market.

But finding an alternative for kerosene is still a problem for the batik industry in Pekalongan. Kerosene is a very essential thing for heating the wax that is used for making batik patterns.

For reducing the use of kerosene, the regional administration was testing the use of gas in batik industry, which was a part of central governments program for conversion from kerosene to gas.

But regarding the use of gas in the batik industry, the craftspeople have been complaining about the expenses of gas, which are much more as compared to kerosene, because, gas produces bigger flame, which is not required and affects the quality of batik.


Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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