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Entrepreneurs see ray of hope in batik revival

Nov '08
Batik is a traditional form of art that was once key source of income in countries like Ghana, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, India, Bangladesh and such countries. Nevertheless, this unique textile craft is slowly losing its charm and the sector is waning rapidly in most countries.

Sri Lanka, where batik industry was extremely strong a few years back, is also facing severe problems.

It seems that batik was flourishing on the back of tourists, who bought napkins, table-cloths, purses as well as other such items as a small and cheap souvenir. However, as violence increased, the tourism diminished and with it the batik industry.

With slowdown in international economy, the overall textile industry of Sri Lanka is also in a dire state. Thus, experts suggest that reviving batik and offering something unique to the world can provide great relief to the enterprises.

Recognizing this, many designers and brands are adopting batik and transforming it into a contemporary style.

Style experts say that today different fabrics, including silk, satin, jute, twill, chiffons as well as blends, can be used for batik printing. They hope that designers and manufacturers would work together, so as to develop the versatility of this art.

Professionals say that traditionally batik printing was done in bright colours like deep red, royal blue, bottle green and vibrant yellow.

However, now, designers must work with pastel and subtle shades of cream, cappuccino, light mango, strawberry, olive and so on that are popular in the European countries.

This, along with innovative, modern patterns adorned by designer appliqués, is sure to lure not only foreign but also local consumers.

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