Barkat Songket Budiana

SAMBAS, – Budiana (51) came out of the bedroom door of his house. Then, she sat cross-legged in front of a glass cupboard in the living room. Inside the cupboard, dozens of Sambas Songket woven fabrics were neatly arranged. One of the fabrics, with a gold frame pattern and a green and pink square motif, was taken and stretched lengthwise over the floor. “This is one of the best (Sambas songket). The price is millions. Normally, those who buy are Malaysians and Brunei Darussalam.” Budiana said, to, recently.

Budiana is a resident from Tanjung Mekar Village, Sambas District, Sambas Regency, West Kalimantan (Kalbar). He is one of the local weavers who are arguably successful in developing their business.

With the production result of more than 200 songket fabrics every year and sold to Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam, Budiana can generate a gross income of hundreds of million rupiahs. “In the past 2019, the total production was 292 pieces of fabrics, the result of sales from abroad was Rp. 164 million and domestic Rp. 188 million.” Budiana said.

Starting from zero, Budiana’s current achievement did not come just like that. Budiana started everything from zero. Budiana was born in 1970 to Samiun and Siti Hawa. When she was in her teens, she was forced to not finish junior high school (SMP) due to a problem experienced by most of the local villagers: poverty. However, when her friends of the same age or older people decided to become migrant workers in Malaysia, Budiana chose to stay in the village: watching and learning to weave fabrics — a livelihood activity for the majority of local residents, especially women, besides farming.

In fact, there were many invitations, both from friends or relatives, to work abroad because it was considered more promising. However, she refused all. “Since leaving school, I started learning to weave. At the age of 20, I started looking for payment to weave fabrics.” Budiana said. After several years of only earning payment from weaving people’s cloth, Budiana started to think ahead. Until finally, in the midst of 1993, she made up her mind to start her own weaving business and was named: Barkat Songket.

Songket as Livelihood

Similar to other small and medium enterprises that were established only with skill capital without sufficient financial support and good marketing, Budiana started everything alone. She wove and marketed her own Songket fabrics. “At that time, the weaving products were sold to collecting traders. Some were also sold directly to customers.” Budiana stated.

At that time, Budiana recalled, as a weaver, she did not have a marketing network outside Sambas Regency. Likewise, the other craftsmen, therefore the selling price of Sambas songket was determined more by the collecting traders. For 13 years, Budiana ran a weaving business independently at home.

She slowly feels the great benefits to help the family economy without necessarily becoming a migrant worker. Then, precisely in 2006, Barkat Songket dared to recruit other weavers. Yet, the concept was not as employees, but as assisted partners. “Until today, there have been 20 partners or Barkat Songket weavers.” Budiana revealed.

Starting to get noticed, Budiana continued, in 2010 Sambas songket weaving, especially Barkat Songket, received attention. In collaboration with Citra Tenun Indonesia Foundation and Garuda, Sambas Regency Government conducted a series of mentoring and coaching for local weavers. “The program ran until 2014.” Budiana said. Then, Budiana explained, Gemawan Association which cooperated with the Association of Women’s Small Business Assistants (ASPPUK) also provided mentoring and assistance in 2013-2016. “I actively participated in the trainings. There was a lot to get, starting from the technical aspects of production, dyeing, marketing and business management.” Budiana explained.

In fact, due to her activeness, Budiana was trusted as an instructor in a number of trainings held by the local government. To Budiana, tenun is not merely processing threads into fabrics, but a work of art and culture. The art of making motifs, the art of combining synthetic and natural dyes into threads, then weaving them to become fabrics. “I am grateful that until today I am still in this business. Weaving is not only able to write history, but also to carry on people’s traditions into the future of culture.” Budiana concluded.

Since 300 years ago, based on the profile of Budiana’s Upakarti, entitled Sambas Weaving is My Art and Service, in 2020, Sambas weaving is society’s cultural property which has existed since the day Sambas Sultanate led by Sultan Muhammad Tsjafioeddin I or Raden Sulaiman and is estimated to be 300 years old. The special characteristic of Sambas weaving lies on the motif which is dominated by plant motifs and on the middle side of the fabric there is a bamboo shoot motif.

Until today, the use of Sambas weaving has been preserved by the community. It is normally used for traditional events and official local government events. There are 2 types of Sambas weaving, namely lunggi fabric or songket and cual (ikat) weaving. Furthermore, Sambas weaving center is in Sambas District, to be precise in Jagur Village, Tanjung Mekar Village and Sumber Harapan Village. Then there are also in Sajad District, specifically in Jirak Village and Tengguli Village. The weavers who are women teach their skills to children and relatives from generation to generation.

This article has been released on entitled “Kisah Budiana, Dulu Putus Sekolah, Kini Hasilkan Ratusan Juta Rupiah karena Tenun”, Click to read:

Writer: Pontianak Contributor, Hendra Cipta

Editor: Teuku Muhammad Valdy Arief


Blessings to Barkat Songket
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