Batik handicraft, which has recognized by UNESCO as one of world cultural heritage, is constantly developing in line with development of time. But, not all of the development is going smoothly, for a few times-times it faces challenges, such as increase of price of raw material, removal of subsidies on kerosene, and application of ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement (Ac-FTA).
Following the application of AC-FTA, many industrial products from China flooded the domestic market, and it causes a blow to Indonesian industrial sector. Batik crafters are trying to anticipate all challenges and to survive in the midst of surge flow of similar products from China which are continuously flooding the market.
Chairman of Indonesian Textile Association (API), Ade Sudrajad, was still optimistic that until now, Indonesian batik is still able to compete with similar products from China. According to him, Indonesian batik has a very excellent traditional value therefore it can not be duplicated by any other country.
He explained that Indonesian is a Batik Country so there is always enthusiasm to create batik. Chinese batik made of polyester does not have any influence. Chinese batik and Indonesian batik have different characteristics. For example, in terms of design, Chinese batik is more dominant as China’s import is not in the form of fabric, but in the form of clothing.
According to I, batik must be full of innovation, especially innovation in design and technology. In the future, it is expected that batik is not only made of cotton, but also of rayon fiber, pineapple fiber, banana fiber so it will have an added value in a conventional way. With a single touch of creative crafter, it will add to the national batik motifs.
To promote the batik industry, according to him, the government should facilitate promotion, domestically or internationally. For example, by participating in exhibitions and opportunities to seize foreign market. This industry requires a high level of creativity to be able to compete with batik produced by other countries.
He admitted that so far, there is no standard requirement for batik. So, batik cannot be monopolized by Indonesia as long as there is no patent right registered. So, if other countries make a batik design, it can not be prohibited. To anticipate this matter, we should use creativity, design, and improve the excellent values that should be improved. We should not be concerned about this, if the batik industry improves, the ability to design hand-crafted batik (batik tulis) can be sustained. And this is our strength, he said.