Showing posts with label sarong history. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sarong history. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The History and Origin of Sarongs

A sarong is a piece of fabric that is worn by men and women on the bottom half of the body. While the Scottish people wear kilts, many Asian regions wear sarongs. Even still, the sarong is a popular garment that is worn by many people in any different counties in a variety of ways. The sarong has a long history in the world, and its presence is one seen and felt. Sarongs have been worn for over 500 years now, and it seems that its popularity is only getting better by the day.

While men usually wear them only for religious purposes and special occasions, the same is not true for women. The term "sarong" comes from Indonesia. The Malay language from Malaysia, Indonesia to be more exact, is actually where the term comes from. The sarong is worn for religious purposes, as a fashion statement, and sometimes for other reasons not listed. The traditional sarong is created using a process known as Batik. It is this process that provides the astonishing overall look of the sarong. This look varies from a checkered pattern to circles or a multiple-prism of colors in various shapes and sizes.

Wearing a Sarong around the World

For example, in the United States, the sarong is popularly worn by women as a swimsuit cover-up. These sarongs come in various styles, designs, and colors, and are certainly head-turning pieces. Typically this type of sarong is very colorful and lightweight, and may even feature emblems or other stylish additions. They are not, however, similar in style to the traditional sarong. A traditional sarong is usually darker toned and may have a checkered or another type of pattern on it. The sarongs made for special occasions usually feature these additional emblems and rhinestones to add charm and appeal.

The Indonesian natives would use a technique to dye their sarongs called batik. This technique used to hand-dye fabrics with the use of wax and dye repellent is one that takes time and devotion, but the ultimate result being a beautiful sarong.  Wherever the wax was placed on the fabric, that piece of material would not absorb the dye. It is similar to the way that we put blue masking tape on a wall when we are painting stripes. The paint goes all over the wall, except where we put the tape. It is a pretty interesting process to say the least. Once his process was complete, the Batik sarong was the result. The sarong is very colorful and takes on different patterns. The sarongs worn by men are different in style than those worn by women.

Sarongs are also worn in many other ways in addition to a swimsuit cover-up. Sarongs make beautiful dresses, scarves, turbans, and tops, and sometimes they’re used to decorate different furnishings around the house.  A sarong makes a beautiful fabric cover for a chair, and that is just one of the many possibilities for the sarong. With a bit of creativity, the many uses of the sarong are endless. It is beautiful enough that you want to use it in a multitude of ways. Since the color combinations and designs are endless, you never have the same look twice, which allows you to create a unique look wherever you go.

Sarongs are quite comfortable to wear, especially if you live in a hot or humid climate because they let a breeze in. They are so comfortable, lightweight, and easy to wear that they are worn in Indonesia, Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and Asia and other parts of the world where the temperatures are sometimes very hot and humid. It is the heat, perhaps, that originally started the idea and later the popularity of the sarong. It is for these reasons that the sarong has become such a popular garment adored in all regions of the world.

What is interesting to know is that the sarong is not called a sarong in all parts of the world. If you’ve been reading this thinking that it sounded familiar, but the name didn’t sit right, this is probably why! For example, in Tahiti, Hawaii, and the Cook Islands, the sarong is known as a Pareo. In South Asia, the sarong is known as a Lungi or Mundu. In Africa, the sarong is called a Macawiis. No matter the name, the sarong is just as beautiful from one region to the next. 

Final Thoughts

It is easy to understand the popularity of the sarong for both men and women with the information in this article. Although the sarong originated in the Eastern World many, many years ago, it is a piece that quickly went versatile and is now enjoyed by individuals across the world. There are traditional sarongs, as well as not-so-traditional choices, giving everyone the perfect sarong to cater to their needs and tastes. 

So tell us, what's your perfect sarong? :) We'd love to hear from you.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Batik Sarongs: Learning More About This Art Form

No one can ever question the amazing artistry offered in Indonesia. The country is one that is full of treasures and treats for not only those who call it home, but also to those who choose to visit the country each year.  More than 269 million people reside in the country, and millions more visit annually. More than 150 active volcanos can be found throughout the country.  A number of animal species also exist in the country, perfect for nature and wildlife lovers. But the real claim to fame is the Indonesian batik sarongs. Of the many treasures found in the country, these are by far and wide one of the best. These sarongs have been made popular all around the world, including the United States. They’re bright and colorful, as well as fun and fierce. You can easily wear them to a formal event, to cover-up a swimsuit, or even wear it to work. Indonesians proudly wear their sarongs as a symbol of respect and power.

The Art of the Batik Sarongs

Now, let’s learn more about this art form. The history of batik goes a long way. First we must answer an important question many people ask themselves. That question? What is batik? Batik is a method of color dyeing. In this process of color dyeing, wax is added to only those areas of the fabric, which are to absorb the dye. This batik process of adding wax and dyeing only those waxed areas repeats itself. The wax can be taken off and re-applied many different times to make attractive and complex designs. To judge whether the fabric is machine dyed or not, you need to look for some difference in design & color over the dyed fabric. This indicates that the fabric is not machine dyed, but it is a batik.  The history of batik goes a long way.

Sarongs are made from rayon fabric and this type of fabric is viscose. One of the many qualities of rayon is that it drapes and swings exquisitely. Another quality is that this rayon is very soft, even softer than cotton and bouncier than silk. Lastly, what can we say about the experience of wearing a batik sarong? They are tremendously comfortable and lightweight. There are a few tools used in the creation of this artistic sarong, however, they are mostly created by hand. The creator will also have several choices when it is time to pick the type of wax that is used in the process of making a batik sarong. These factors all play a part in the overall look and design.

Wearing Batik Sarongs

Batik sarongs are indeed beautiful. The fabrics take lots of attention to detail, time, and effort to create. Each sarong that is created represents exquisite craftsmanship and defines art in its best form. Wearing a batik sarong can help you feel good from the inside out, while also helping you achieve a great look for most any occasion. You will find many different ways to wear it, and as long as there are no religious beliefs or restrictions in place, there is no reason that you cannot wear it and experiment with it as well. Who knows what kind of awesome look you can create?

As mentioned above, sarongs can be worn as bathing suit cover-up. Those in the western world predominantly use them for this purpose. With the sun glistening down, you will certainly shine brightly with a batik cover-up, or you can wear it as a skirt. It is easy to play around with this beautiful accessory, easily creating numerous skirts of differing types and lengths. Show a little or show a lot –it is all up to you and your creativity.

Why not take it one step further and turn your sarong into a gorgeous dress? You can create many different styles that you can wear almost anywhere. Add a pair of matching shoes and you will look beautiful all night. Wrap it around your neck and use it as a shawl. You will appreciate the provided warmth for your neck, but will also love the gorgeous and bold look that you create.

As you can see, the possibilities for wearing a sarong are endless. Put your creative juices in gear and you will have no problem at all using this beautiful piece of fabric to help you express your unique personality. Batik sarongs are a piece of art that you can wear. Now all that is left to do is for you to rock the look!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

What is a Sarong?

As your one stop portal for all things sarong, we felt the need to take a step back and revisit this rather important question. If you've ever asked yourself - What is a sarong wrap? / What is it made of? / What is it used for? Then look no further because we're here to answer your questions!

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Whether they’re featured in history books as a traditional garment of the past, worn on beaches as a bathing suit cover-up, or worn for ceremonial purposes, sarongs are a universal piece of clothing that have a long history. Worn by both men and women in South Asia, Africa, and the Pacific Islands, a sarong is a long piece of fabric, often decorated with colors and prints that is commonly draped around the body and requires no sewing.

Originating from the Malay word for "covering", sarongs are historically popular in different parts of the world and take on different names in different regions. For example, those residing in the South Pacific Islands call sarongs a “pareos” while those in Indonesia, Thailand, and Philippines call it a “sarong”. The people of Africa call it a “kanga” and those of India call it a “sari”. Ancient Grecian even had their own garment similar to a sarong: the “toga”. The Fijians also have their traditional wear for men known as a “lungi”. No matter what its name is - sarongs hold a special value in certain cultures, particularly Indonesia, that dates back thousands of years.

Handmade Indonesian sarongs are made using a common dyeing technique called batik. The labor - intensive process involves using pieces of wax as a stencil to outline which parts of the sarong will be dyed and which will not. Seen as a true art form in Indonesia, batik is usually seen in the more popular regions of Indonesia (Java and Bali), and can take hours to be made perfect. Men usually wear checkered sarongs as a skirt while women wear more colorful, artistic patterns from the shoulders down.

Batik stamp method
Sarongs are loved for their soft, airy and lightweight feel. Not only do they allow for full body movement, but they are an ideal everyday piece of clothing for labor workers in tropical climates. Commonly worn in the Western world as a bathing suit cover - up, sarongs have become a staple for many due to its versatility.

Originally reserved for Indonesian royalty, sarongs are now seen as an everyday life garment that is worn around the world and come in a variety patterns. A versatile garment, sarongs can be styled in a number of ways and is popularly used when traveling. The most basic way of wearing a sarong is to wrap it length - wise across the waist just above the navel and tie the corners until it is tight and secure.

Other ways to wear a sarong are as follows:
  • Drape dress
  • Bandeau dress
  • Toga dress
  • Scarf
  • Head wrap
  • Bathing suit cover up
  • Sarong skirt
  • Wrap skirt
  • A top
Sarongs are also available in a number of patterns to suit fashion - forward beauties. From animal and floral print to tie dye and solid prints, 1 World Sarongs is a one-stop shop that has a sarong style for every personality.

Hand painted batik method
Looking for a creative way to tie your sarong? Use a brooch or a specially made sarong tie. The latter comes in a number of shapes and colors to suit one’s desire. Common shapes for a sarong tie are floral, heart, butterfly, star, and diamond. It’s a perfect gift to pair with a sarong for your loved ones. 

While sarongs remain a traditional dress form in the Eastern parts of the world, they have quickly become a staple piece of garment worn around the globe in modern times.

Sarong as a beach cover up
In your opinion, what is a sarong? We'd love to hear your thoughts, feel free to leave us a comment!