The Indonesian nation must be proud, because it has a world heritage that has been recognized by the UN Agency for education, science, and culture, or UNESCO, namely batik cloth. Determination of batik as a world heritage, commemorated every October 2 as National Batik Day.
As an effort to preserve batik cloth, while preserving the coastal environment, Pertamina RU VI Balongan in collaboration with the Jaka Kencana group (Rumah Berdikari) has succeeded in developing innovations in the form of natural batik dyes. The natural dyes of batik come from processed mangrove trees of Rhizophora sp and Criops sp.
In addition to natural dyes, the group is also creative by designing mangrove patterned batik motifs. "Pertamina hopes that the innovation of batik with natural mangrove motifs and dyes, can remind the wearer, to always respect the environment and culture of the nation," said PT Pertamina Unit Manager (Persero) RU VI Balonga, Rusam Aji, to Republika.co.id, Tuesday (2/10).
Chairman of the Jaka Kencana Group in Karangsong Village, Indramayu District, Indramayu Abdulatif District (47 years old) said that Indramayu Regency was one of the batik-producing regions in the country. The product too, he said, had penetrated many domestic and foreign markets.
Abdulatif (47 years old) is processing mangrove seeds as batik coloring ingredients. (Photo: Agus Yulianto / Republika)
However, Abdulatif said, there were those who disturbed his niche from making batik all this time. The anxiety was that all this time, the batik makers had used chemicals that could pollute the environment.
"This is what makes me concerned," he said. On the other hand, he also saw the potential of the environment in the coastal area that was so abundant. Namely mangrove forest area.
From the mangrove forest, said Abdulatif, able to produce fruit that can be used as natural coloring material. "Initially, mangrove fruit was rarely used, unless there was a greening program," he said.
From the abundant potential of mangrove fruit, finally thought in Abdulatif's mind to make natural dyes that are safe for the environment. "Actually, the color problem of mangrove fruit has been used by previous people, but it did not develop like the use of chemical dyes," he said.
Therefore, he collaborated with PT Pertamina (Persero) RU VI Balongan, to develop this natural dye as an ingredient in Indramayu batik making. "We finally have mangrof batik motifs. This is what we are trying to make," Abdulatif said.