Batak Ulos Marketed to Europe, US

Ulos, a traditional Batak cultural fabric in northern Sumatra, is not only marketed domestically but also internationally to Europe and the United States.

Chairman of the Ulos Batak Weaving and Ulos Batik Craftsmen Association Robert MT Sianipar said here on Tuesday that the traditional Ulos fabric is not only favored by Batak communities but also by foreigners.

The fact has shown that Ulos craftsmen receive increasing orders from several countries such as Russia, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the United States, Australia, Singapore and Malaysia. “Exports are not yet in bulk and depending on orders, but it does make us proud,” he said.

In marketing their products to Europe and the United States and other countries in Asia, Robert said that there are no special promotions conducted, but only through information from old friends.

“We have some old friends there staying in those countries as our marketers. Initially the efforts experienced trial and error, but the prospects look pretty good, until now it is still going well,” he said.

Robert said that he started the Ulos fabric business in early 1989 for local markets such as in Medan, where his parents happened to run their business there.

In 1992, a Singapore citizen was interested in his Ulos products, and then bought a few pieces as souvenirs. “That was the beginning of my Ulos trade business that still lasts until now. These Ulos are all done using a traditional loom,” he said.

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