Isen Isen – Preserving Cultural Heritage in Strategic Design Way

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/I’ sen/ (n.) fill-in motifs.

‘isen’ is a Javanese language of ‘isian’ in Indonesian. In batik world, the term of ‘isen isen’ means fill-in motifs and the use of it is to complete the main batik motifs and make it more beautifully stands out.

Two curious interior designers, who have the same conceptual ideology about design and batik, brought up Isen Isen together in 2015. After years of study abroad, Fifi and Ayu, back for good to preserve and develop their pure love of Indonesian local batik. They have been wandering and traveling to many places, but home is where their heart truly belongs.


Fifi, with her experienced on studying design management in the UK, came up with the strategic process to get the ideas, type of materials to play with, and the concept of eco-design. On the other hand, Ayu who spent her 5 years in Australia gathered and explored about the choice of product and what kind of design to link with the local market and also to the current trends. With Isen Isen, they strive to create experiences that are combining the existing local tradition of their roots with the developing global movements.


The Design Making Process Is Part of Educating Customer After brainstormed for the main concept and collected fresh ideas, Fifi and Ayu traveled to batik villages in Solo and Yogyakarta to learn more about the making process. There are three types of the making techniques, namely the stamped batik using copper, printed batik using machine and written batik using canting. Isen Isen, which the main concept is to preserve the ancient tradition, acknowledges that most of their product is using the ancestors way of making batik which is by using canting, waxand natural dyes. Isen Isen is using the traditional batik pattern with minimal addition of modern element and modification so it will not
deviated from the real meanings, combining with colorful fabrics in geometry shapes to balance the design.

In doing the design and the production, many obstacles keep appearing. Using the written batik is consuming much time rather than using the printed one. The process of writing batik in wax and coloring with natural dyes can take more than one month for only one fabric. Many of the batik
artisans chose to use chemical dyes because of the quicker process, but the chemical has negative impact for the surroundings. It is also can lead to cancer and even death for the artisans themselves. Isen Isen is currently developing the way to make the whole process faster and more efficient, but of course in a greener way. For the future products, they will use the waste from the batik production and recycle it. Isen Isen is aware of the eco-design concept and how it affects the environment that is why they open opportunity for specialists in all background to collaborate and find better solutions together. Isen Isen is not only creating products, but also educating the customer to know more about batik.




Must have items:

Currently, Isen Isen is focusing on cushion covers in many choices and it is in progress on developing many new products. All Isen Isen products are carefully made in limited quantity to create exclusiveness. Each product has its own story and uniqueness to match with your own style
and personality.

Visit online:

Instagram.com/isenisen_

Steller.co/isenisen

For further inquiries:

Line: @isenisen_

Email: hai.isenisen@gmail.com

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