Fabric of Life

Julian Sihombing

Batik chic Obin has made a traditional cloth fashionable again

You're in Jakarta, with only a limited amount of time to buy presents for family and friends back home. Where do you head to? To the acme of batik shops, naturally. And that would be the one on Jalan Purworejo, run by Josephine Komara — better known by her Indonesian name, Obin, www.binhouse.com.

To many, the word batik conjures up visions of Asian-themed restaurants or ASEAN summits. To Obin, the fabric means glamour. It means stunning models sashaying down the catwalk to the music...

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