Bali to draft bylaw to preserve traditional textiles

August 27, 2013 - Indonesia

The local administration of the Indonesian province of Bali is planning to draft a bylaw ensuring protection, preservation and growth of domestic traditional textiles and the textile industry, by next year, Ni Wayan Kusumawathi, Head of Industry and Trade Agency for the Province of Bali has said.
 
During a discussion on Balinese textiles, the official said, the bylaw would not only cover trade, but would form a part of the government’s efforts to preserve local culture and would also expand to preservation of areas and artisans producing traditional textiles, process, designs and motifs, The Jakarta Post reported.
 
Once in force, the bylaw would greatly help the Agency in supporting traditional textile producers, she added.
 
The provincial program to support traditional textile producers is presently linked with the One Village One Product (OVOP) scheme and now the Agency is preparing to focus on traditional textiles manufacturing hubs, mainly the villages in Gianyar, Buleleng, Klungkung and Karangasem. 
 
The agency also helps traditional textile producers to boost their competitiveness to sustain the free trade era, by ensuring that efforts to boost competitiveness and preservation go hand-in-hand, she added.
 
Traditional Balinese textiles including songket, a fabric woven with a weft of gold-wrapped cotton or silk thread; endek, a kind of handwoven cloth; and sekordi, which is usually used as a hip fabric in rites of passage ceremonies; find market in the EU, US, South Africa and Southeast Asian countries.
 
However, given that demand from the EU and the US is waning due to global financial slump, Balinese exporters are now looking to concentrate on emerging South African and Southeast Asian markets.
 
Last year, 50 Balinese firms exported traditional textiles worth US$ 108.8 million, a 21.32 percent below previous year. However, this year the province is eyeing a 2.5 percent hike.
 
Experts participating in the discussion said Balinese traditional textile products should be patented or copyrighted and government should extend a helping hand here, as none of the Balinese traditional textile products has a copyright at present.