The Story

From Kalimantan to Kemang

Borneo Chic started as an initiative of 5 Indonesian non-government organizations (NGOs) that joined together to form Crafts Kalimantan in 2008. Crafts Kalimantan is a network of indigenous artisans of Kalimantan and their NGO support groups. Seeing the potential of organized, expanded work at the ground level, it came together to conduct training activities with Dayak artisans in the effort to build a sustained movement to promote authentic indigenous crafts and sustainable livelihoods in Kalimantan. At that time, interest in certain Dayak crafts was dwindling and other professions were drawing artisans away from their home and their traditions.

Borneo Chic was then established as the marketing arm of Crafts Kalimantan in the belief that continued and increased sales of traditional craft would revive the Dayak weaving traditions across the island. Borneo Chic sought to elevate traditional craft from Borneo, presenting important aspects of Indonesian heritage and nature to the urban sector. Thus Borneo Chic emerged as a collection of modern hand bags merging elements of indigenous weaving traditions with contemporary designs. Borneo Chic launched its shop in Kemang in 2011 and since then carries products in 6 stores around the country.

Our Heritage

Tradition is identity

Borneo Chic draws attention to an island known for its rainforests and indigenous peoples. But little is known about their sophisticated craftsmanship using natural materials such as the water reed, “bemban”, the climbing vine, rattan, and natural dyes for intricate tie-dyed loom weaving called “ikat”.


Rattan baskets from the Dayak Benuaq of Kutai Barat, East Kalimantan vary from their two toned mystical, animal designs to single colored baskets with the same intricate weaving. The weaving is fine, tight and even – evidence of their mastery of the craft. Other woven bags feature mythical tales and timeless messages. The rattan from these bags comes from the Kedang Pahu watershed which is an important catchment for the Mahakam river. The bags are certified sustainable through a participatory guarantee system (PGS) involving various sectors and stakeholders


Similarly, rattan baskets made by the Dayak Bisomu of Sanggau, West Kalimantan are made of the “korit” design. They are made with loose weaving of rattan but are unusually strong and very even creating a geometrical pattern. A protected forest status in the regency of Noyan has helped to maintain the source of this vine, which by its creeping nature, needs a healthy forest to survive. Plantation development in the area, however, risks the demise of the forests and thus the livelihood and tradition of the weavers.


Further northeast to Sanggau district are the Dayak Iban of the Danau Sentarum national park, an internationally recognized wetlands covering 123,000 hectares. Several years ago, seven young women started to focus seriously on their weaving tradition to find alternative income to labor wage in the border state of Sarawak, Malaysia. Disillusioned by the experience of their parents in the harsh circumstances of work in Malaysia, they formed the group Tujuh Dara meaning “seven maidens”. Today, Tujuh Dara is a testimony of the interest of the young indigenous woman who has pride in her culture and tradition. Tujuh Dara makes woven mats from water reeds. All woven mats have intricate motifs. All motifs have meanings. Some emerge from dreams that are passed on from generation to generation.


North West Kalimantan is the home of the Dayak Desa. The Dayak weavers of Sintang have made intricate woven fabrics using natural dyes on cotton threads. There have been renewed efforts to draw awareness to the Sintang ikat-weaving through the establishment of a gallery and a museum, but more work is needed to develop the market for their craft. Previously ikat textiles were sold only in simple rolls and customers were oblivious to various uses of the fabric. Since then, the Dayak Desa weavers have formed a cooperative called Jasa Menenun Mandiri (JMM).


Borneo Chic as of late is supporting the weavers of ulap doyo, a hand woven fabric created by the Dayak Benuaq of Tanjung Isuy and Mancong in Kutai Barat. Ulap doyo is made from the leaf of the doyo plant Curculigo latifolia.The Doyo leaves are harvested in a sustainable manner with only mature leaves of one meter in length being taken. Doyo fiber is produced through an intricate and lengthy process. The leaves are washed, shredded and connected making long strands of fiber then rolled into balls of yarn before they are then woven by means of a hand loom. The strands or woven cloths are dyed in different colors or designed with local motifs.

Your Lifestyle

Borneo Chic tells its message through fashion

Borneo Chic brings tradition from frontier areas to bustling cities of Indonesia.

Borneo Chic seeks to bring the modern woman a collection of hand bags for various needs; from day to night; from workday to weekend. From simple to intricate, Borneo Chic maintains its brand of understated elegance.

The collections highlight stories of meanings and beliefs behind indigenous traditions while presenting sustainable products traced from mountain to metropolis. Borneo Chic practices responsible trade making sure artisans have a fair deal.

Borneo Chic also now offers bags for the youth as well as beauty and health products which sustain internal and external wellness.



– Borneo Chic 2017 collection released at the PARARA Fashion Show in Jakarta, Indonesia.

– Borneo Chic Received an award from the Dewan Kerajinan Nasional (Dekranas) as the best Product Natural Fiber Collection Motif Jangan Buer

-Borneo Chic Natural Fiber collection released at the Asia Pacific Forestry Week Fashion Show, Pampanga, Philippines

-Received the INACRAFT Award from the Association of Producers and Exporters of Indonesian Handicrafts (ASEPHI)
-Borneo Chic 2015 collection released at the PARARA Fashion Show in Jakarta, Indonesia.
-Borneo Chic collection shown at the World Forestry Congress (WFC) Durban, South Africa
-Selected to participate in the International Folk Art Market in St. Fe, New Mexico, USA.
-Participated in the Hongkong Gift Expo

-Received the UNESCO Word Craft Council (WCC) Award for Excellence in Handicrafts
-Selected to participate in the International Folk Art Market in St. Fe, New Mexico, USA.

-Received an award from the Dewan Kerajinan Nasional (Dekranas) or the National Crafts Council
-Participated in the Tokyo International Gifts Show (TGIS)

-Joined Meet the Makers Craft as Art Collective

-Received the FEMINA Award from FEMINA magazine

-Received the INACRAFT Award given by the Association of Producers and Exporters of Indonesian Handicrafts (ASEPHI)
-Received the FEMINA Award from FEMINA magazine

JT Tarigan

Business Manager - Borneo Chic

Crissy Guerrero

Adviser - Borneo Chic

Hanna Mila

Operations and Finance Officer

Nindy Anggraeni

Administration and Production Officer


Marketing Officer

Surya Mahardika

Communications Design Intern

Deasy Rinayanti Pelealu

Board member

Yayasan Dian Tama

Yayasan Riak Bumi

Yayasan Petak Danum

Jasa Menenun Mandiri

Non-Timber Forest Products Exchange Programme (NTFP-EP) Indonesia

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