Kana Goods’ indigo splendor
1. What was the inspiration in launching your company?
Sancaya Rinin, founder of the the Indonesian fashion brand Kana Goods, has always aspired to be a good earth citizen. Her concern over the environment coupled with how large garment industries dumped harmful waste from coloring with synthetic dyes led to experimentaion with natural dyes in her backyard, which further led to launching Kanawida known for its batik silk scraves that were natually dyed. But Sancaya wanted to do more with fashion, specifically designing for a younger demographic. In 2013, she launched Kana Goods, a ready-to-wear fashion line that's recognized for its batik drawings and mulit-hued blues.
As a business owner, Sancaya realized early on that sound management system was the top priority for the business to succeed, but along the she's had some stumbling blocks. Material sourcing of raw silk or cotton has been an issue for the company. “We hardly get the same type of raw fabrics consistently. We always buy raw fabrics from the textile market that sells industrial fabric excess, which are usually one or two rolls of one type of fabrics. If we do not buy it now, tomorrow they might be gone. To get the same type of fabrics consistently we have to buy it in large volume,” said Nurachman Andika, manager of product development.
Acquiring natural indigo paste can also be troublesome. Kana Goods purchases the indigo paste from a indigo farmer in Central Java, but sometimes the weather determines the quality of the paste. During the rainy season, indigo is limited and the quality is sub-par. To resolve this issue, Kana Goods is developing their own indigo farm in Wonosobo, Central Java.
Sourcing and indigo paste issues aside, Kana Goods manages to create stunning textiles. Their clothing line is created from the raw silk and cotton they purchase, which is then transformed to myriad of heavenly blues. To achieve the various hues of blue, The fabric is soaked in hot water to remove starch. As the processed fabric drys, it’s ready to be drawn with wax (batik). The batik pattern is drawn using a traditional tool ‘canting’. Once the design is completed, the fabric is then dyed in natural indigo solvent. The fabric is dyed several times to achieve desired hue. To achieve s darker blue, a longer dyeing process needed, followed by a week of drying. When the desired color is achieved, the fabric soaked again in hot water to remove the wax. And then the finished fabrics are brought to a tailor to piece together.
“Our batik pattern moves away from Javanese traditional batik pattern. We draw simplistic and contemporary motifs to attract a younger demographic market. Sometimes we use traditional patterns and compose it in such a way, so it appears contemporary. Our goal in designing clothes is trying to reduce the fabric waste as much as possible, so most of our clothes designed and sewed in simplistic style,” explained Nurachman.
Kana Goods will be exhibiting their line of natural indigo dyed products that include dresses, tunics, shirts, kimonos, and hand drawn batik scarves for the first time at NY NOW’s Artisan Resource. The trade show will run from August 12-15 at the Jabo Javits Center in NYC.
Kana Goods ready-to-wear collection can be found in Jakarta at STOW, Alun-Alun Grand Indonesia and Goods Dept. For more information, visit www.kanagoods.com.