Ulos Harungguan, Torang Sitorus's Works

Internationally, Indonesia is known for its variety of traditional clothing with various motifs. In fact, some of them are often used as exhibitions in the international fashion event arena which attracts admirers of fashion lovers around the world. Recently the name Indonesia has been heard again at the World Crafts Council (WCC), an international event organized under the United Nations through UNESCO. One of Indonesia’s most prominent fashion designers, Torang Sitorus, introduced Harungguan ulos woven cloth which received an award from the World Crafts Council (WCC) recently, and became a souvenir of the 2018 IMF-World Bank meeting.

This time Harungguan ulos, which received an award from WCC 2018, was exhibited at Andaliman Hall, Medan City November 7 to November 11, 2018. The exhibition presented 90 ulos from various types such as Bintang Maratur, Suri-suri, Indigo, Bolean, and of course Harungguan.

Torang Sitorus, international fashion designers and ulos collectors

In fact, works like this are appreciated in Jakarta and abroad. So Ulos Harungguan is woven in Muara, North Tapanuli. This year there are two achievements for Harungguan, first as an IMF-World Bank souvenir. Second, getting awards from WCC, such as NGOs in UNESCO, “said Torang in Medan on Wednesday (11/7).

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Torang said, Harungguan ulos, which is only made by weavers from Muara, North Tapanuli Regency, North Sumatra, is a replica of old cloth, whose manufacturing process is still traditionally carried out and follows its authenticity. The difference in ulos Harungguan with other Batak fabrics is that there is no repetition of motifs in the manufacturing process.
According to Torang, the process of making one Harungguan sheet can take up to two months. Before weaving, the process is the formation of a pattern of motifs, binding to dyeing. As a result Ulos Harungguan is priced at a fairly high price.

“For one sheet from the beginning the process can be two to three months. But after being tied, and dyed, weaving is fast, only a week. For the coloring process we have to hold it dirty. Indeed, what weavers are avoiding now is practical. like this, it is much more expensive. Now it is IDR 5 million to IDR 10 million per sheet, “said Torang.

After Harungguan, Torang will look for ulos with other motives to develop. Torang also hopes that Ulos is not just a cultural narrative, but is able to become a fashion industry that can boost the economy of the weavers in Toba.

“Making this ulos become a story (custom) or diverting him to the fashion industry. Because we have to separate these two. Adat speaks custom, but the kitchen must bill every day. So it’s time for the weavers to make traditional cloth. But there are times when they need creativity that grows. So it must be more realistic, “concluded Torang.



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