Batik is an Indonesian cultural heritage confirmed by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity on October 2, 2019. Previously, then Government of Indonesia issued Presidential Decree No. 3 of 2009, designating October 2 as National Batik Day to increase public awareness of efforts to protect and develop Indonesian batik.
As a cultural heritage, batik has undergone a centuries-long process and has become deeply ingrained in the culture spread throughout Indonesia. Each region in Indonesia boasts its distinctive batik characteristics with beautiful symbols. One type of batik is jumputan batik, often referred to as batik ikat. This batik originated in Jogjakarta, Solo, Palembang, Kalimantan, Bali, and Sulawesi, each showcasing distinct characteristics according to their respective local areas.
To further the growth of jumputan batik, especially in North Sumatra, Universitas Sumatra Utara (USU) is committed to developing jumputan batik, making it known to the community, and preserving it as a valuable heritage for humankind. With such aspirations, several lecturers from Universitas Sumatera Utara took the initiative to engage in community service with the theme of batik jumputan.
A lecturer from this university, consisting of faculty members from the Communication Science, Sociology, and Public Health study programs, actively participates in conducting jumputan batik workshops for women affiliated with the Mutiara Langit Biru Creative House in Medan. This program was carried out on September 23, 2023, as part of celebrating National Batik Day.
Women, who have been traditionally associated with homemaking, are empowered to become creative and efficient while preserving the tradition of jumputan batik.
“Mothers and teenagers recruited for training will acquire the skills to produce jumputan batik, which can be used to supplement the family income,” stated Mazdalifah, a USU lecturer and service team member.
The workshop focused on the ikat technique to create batik using marbles and beads in the tying and dipping methods. Participants crafted their batik motifs by hand, eschewing the use of machines, resulting in unique handmade motifs for each batik produced.
“At present, sourcing materials for batik presents a challenge. We acquire all materials from outside Medan, specifically from Pekalongan, Jogja, and Solo. However, with online sales, these materials are now more accessible,” commented Linda Elida, USU lecturer and Activity Coordinator.
The workshop provided foundational training in essential competencies, as batik-making entails complexity. Participants were still in the learning phase, acquiring skills in creating motifs by tying and understanding the entire process from motif creation, tying, mordanting, coloring, and drying.
Linda Elida, the activity’s coordinator, mentioned plans to organize participants intorncooperative business units. These cooperatives will serve as forums for participants to continue honing their skills and purchasing raw materials for batik-making. Furthermore, the cooperatives will assist those needing business capital, as participants must invest in this skill to generate income.
Upon completing the training, participants took home the batik cloth they had created during the sessions. This activity was intended to instill pride in their work. USU will continue to encourage activities that preserve Indonesian culture while supporting the community’s income, particularly women’s.
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