October 12, 2012 - The Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in Jakarta recently reported to the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) capital office that a renowned manufacturer and exporter of Philippine embroidery gained recognition for its products during the opening of the 1st Embroidery Festival in Jakarta, Indonesia.
“Guests and customers who came to the booth were impressed and curious about the piña fabric. They would touch the material and note how soft it is,” said Lourdes Ragas, owner of Asia Embroidery, Inc.Mrs. Lourdes Ragas showing First Lady Ani Yudhoyono a sample of a pina fiber.
Ragas brought 200 pieces of embroidery products that were displayed at the festival’s international exhibition and bazaar held at the Jakarta Convention Centre. Among the bestselling products were the collar necklace beads, laser cut embroidered curtains, cushions, and flower brooches. Hand-made piña fabric also drew crowds, which kept the booth busy during the entire exhibition.Philippine booth at the 1st Embroidery Festival in Jakarta
“I could see a big potential here (Indonesia). I am 100-% positive that the Philippines could sell here because of the quality and the western and European orientation of our designs. Items such as cushions, collar necklaces or bibs, curtains, table runners, even barongs would do well here,” said Ragas.
Asia Embroidery’s products were described as intricate and sophisticated pieces with clean lines and fanciful embellished details. The Indonesian designers like Hian Tjen and Nefianto Setiono were impressed at the creativity of Filipino designers.
“I got a lot of inquiries for barong. They know it as a product from the Philippines and they would like to have one that they can use when they attend pengajian (Muslim prayer mass),” Ragas said.
Indonesia's First Lady Ani Bambang Yudhoyono, who officially opened the festival, visited the booth of Asia Embroidery, Inc., where she saw the piña-embroidered fabrics on display. She noted the fine artwork and thanked Ragas for joining the exhibition.
The festival was organized by the National Crafts Council (Dekranas), Yayasan Sulam Indonesia (YSI) and Asia Expo exhibition. It aims to preserve the art of embroidery and promote different types of embroidered products from Indonesia and other countries. It showcased patchwork and embroidery products, featured a fashion show by Yayasan Sulam Indonesia, and conducted seminars, embroidery workshops, a talk show, and cultural performances.
Ragas also delivered a lecture on embroidery at a seminar, which was attended by Indonesian National Arts Council Chairwoman Herawati Boedino, Philippine Ambassador to Indonesia Maria Rosario Aguinaldo, Indonesian designers, and embroidery enthusiasts.
Ragas shared the stage with Indonesia’s fashion icon, Ramli Sarwi Gozali Kartowidjojo. She revealed that the Philippines is known for its intricate and hand-embroidered products. She cited areas in the Philippines such as Lumban in Laguna, Taal in Batangas and Quezon Province as areas renowned for its ancient craft of embroidery, Filipino talent and artistry where hand embroidering is an art passed from generation to generation.