Jakarta. Marunda Batik, a community of low-cost apartment tenants-turned-artisans, are making use of their craftsmanship to add an exotic touch to facial masks.
Their workshop in Marunda Apartment, North Jakarta, has been quiet for some time due to the coronavirus outbreak. On Wednesday, these artisans had finally started to pick up their spouted tool or canting again to draw batik patterns for masks.
The idea for a batik mask came up after the government issued mandatory wearing of mask in public places, making the face covering a hot fashion accessory.
"We are adding a fashionable value to the mask. This is a very important move since people in other countries have been told to wear masks to protect themselves from the virus during the pandemic," Marunda Batik craftsperson Mulyadi said.
The workshop can produce up to 50 masks in a day. Each is priced at Rp 100,000 ($6.93).
"Production will grow in line with the demand. We hope it will bring a positive impact to the community members because they need to survive amid the global economic crisis," he said.
To make a mask, artisans first draw a pattern on fabric before cutting it into pieces. With a liquid wax-filled canting, they later draw the pattern on the cloth. Once dried, they will sew the fabric into masks before distributing them to the customers.
The Betawi batik patterns from Marunda has various motifs to offer. Among the highly-requested motifs are the kembang kelapa (coconut flower notable to be the headpiece for ondel-ondel), kepala kenari (canary's head), topeng (masks), bunga flamboyan (flamboyant flowers), bebek menari (dancing duck), ombak Marunda (Marunda's waves) and bulus teratai (turtle in the lotus).