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Kartini Celebrates a Milestone

February 27th, 2019

One year has passed and with only three active women left – Mrs. Ratih, Mrs. Inung and Mrs. Rita – the shibori or tie-dye group, called Kartini, is still rock solid. They faced many production challenges in the past year, from discoloration, sewing skills that still need to be refined to the marketing of their products. None of this broke their spirit but actually made them bolder and more confident and eventually made progress.

One of the most significant points of progress they have made is they are now offering shibori workshops to other women. Their first gig as trainers was on October 30th, 2018, a sweet milestone that the group is particularly proud of for it is Kartini’s one-year anniversary.

The Shibori Workshop was initiated and prepared by Kartini themselves, starting from making and distributing brochures and finding participants to preparing decorations. The enthusiasm for the shibori workshop apparently also rubbed off on Kartini’s families, as evidenced by Mrs. Ratih’s husband who came to help put up the decorations and Titian Scholarship recipients, who also lent their hands. This shows how close the kinship is between Titian staff, the Scholarship recipients and Kartini, which meant they all gave their heart and soul to help each other.

The maiden workshop was attended by 15 women and for a relatively modest fee – Rp. 25,000 – participants get four pieces of 50 x 50 cm cloth, consumption, gloves and a Kartini sticker. Compared to other shibori workshops – the price of which can reach a hundred thousand Rupiah, the Kartini workshop was very appealing for the lower-budget households who are eager to learn but can’t afford the higher price. The workshop lasted for 3 hours but that didn’t dampen the participants’ enthusiasm. Kartini made the effort to make the session very interesting by doing ice-breaking before they started, dancing together to induce concentration. Before the session ended, Kartini allowed some time for discussion about shibori with the participants and then closed with participants’ feedback.

One of the participants, Mrs. Dwi, in her feedback said “The course is very good. I initially thought the course would be boring with only shibori practice and then go home. But, as it turned out, even in a very cheap priced course, I was able to make new friends, absorb new knowledge and it wasn’t boring because of the ice-breaking session, the snacks and being able to share knowledge my about shibori. I hope a course like this will be held more often, to include learning new patterns. My kudos to the Kartini team.”

Kartini likewise hopes that they will be able to hold more shibori workshops in the future with different target markets, such as elementary school children and high school students, so that young children can learn more about their own culture. (NF)