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Locally designed Uniforms

In our recent blog on local culture: we introduced the beautiful Indonesian Batik.
In case you didn’t catch it, Batik is an Indonesian art technique that uses wax and colourful dyes to create beautiful patterns for fabrics and art. Originating from Java, Batik can now be found all over Indonesia.

We mentioned that you can even see it on the uniforms worn by the staff at Bawah Reserve and we wanted to bring you the fully story behind the design of the uniform.

Like everything we do here at Bawah sustainability and local sourcing is of paramount
importance. So when it came to designing the new uniforms we had a lot of boxes to tick:

  • Sustainable material
  • Local designer, design, production
  • Comfort
  • Durable
  • Light weight
  • Smart
  • Practical
  • Beautiful

Phew! What a list. And who better to take on this task than Ursula Henny Gunawan Bandung based tailor and mother of Jerry Winata (Head of Anambas Foundation) .

our_happy_female_fashion_designer

Here’s our recent interview with Ursula:


Tell us about your background:

I was born in Indonesia and have lived here all my life. I graduated as an agricultural
engineer by trade but through some times of hardship I was forced to learn new skills. I had
some coaching from mother in law on how to make clothes but mostly I would buy clothes
and take them apart to see how it has been made, kind of reverse engineering. So I am
pretty much self-taught. It’s quite Ironic, as a child I was a tom boy and designing clothes
was the furthest thing from what I thought I would end up doing!

our_fashion_designer_hand_chalk_marking_on_cloth


How did you go about commencing such a big project?

When I was approached to make the uniform for Bawah Reserve – I firstly went to visit the
island and spent a lot of time with the team. I conducted lengthy interviews with the staff
members to understand their day to day tasks and activities - this helped me to understand
not only the best design but also the best material to use.

sketching_bawah_skirt_uniform_design

Colour:

I took inspiration from the nature surrounding Bawah Reserve. The initial design
came from the sea surrounding the island, the Azure blue fascinated me and gave me a
good natural colour palette to work with.


Design:

female_fashion_designer_measuring_batik_cloth

With the design we wanted to preserve the beauty of nature at Bawah without
overcomplicating it. We wanted to represent the best of Indonesian craftsmanship, beauty
and design, yet with a modern practical twist. Nature and integrity of culture – made to an
international standard.

female_designer_hand_cutting_batik_cloth
Batik was the perfect representation for this. We created our own design using sea
creatures and butterflies that you often see at Bawah.
We worked with a local artisan in Java – Batik can be mass produced by machine, hand
printed by mold or completely hand painted. We chose to hand print by mold , not using a
machine but a block mold. This way of printing allows for little imperfections and patterns
to occur and gives a very unitque look.

PHOTO-2020-02-27-13-05-59

 

Material:

Soft, thin and lightweight – it has a great flowy movement to it. Staff can do
their job easily and it looks visually appealing. The flow of the fabric helps their movement –
as they move a lot in their daily roles. Great movement makes the uniform dynamic when
they walk and move.


How long did it all take?

batik_cloth_and_tools_for_making_the_uniform

Choosing block/mold printing takes time as the artisan needs to mix the right colours and
making the molds etc, then we needed X m of material.
It took roughly 3 months for the material to be ready and for the pattern to be cut.


Are you happy with the finished look?

Bawah-reserve-medium-res-1949 Staff Jetty Uniform

I am very happy with how it all looks. To see the staff wearing them in real life and to see
how it moves while they do their work is very satisfying. It really does represent the
dynamic movement of the intended design. The feedback from the team and guests has
also been very nice too!

young_male_staff_batik_uniform_arranging_table_arm_chairs_coconut_beach_picnic_batu_tokong_background

 

 

 

 

 

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