The History of Sarongs

Across many parts of Asia, particularly Indonesia, an ancient dyeing technique known as batik is used to produce the distinct colours and patterns on the fabric of each sarong. These fabrics are often worn by both men and women in Asia, the Arab Peninsula, and the horn of Africa. In different regions of the globe, sarongs take on significant historical meaning. In Malay for example men wear their sarongs with a checked pattern only when attending Friday prayers at the mosque. On the other hand, women in Malay customarily wear their sarongs every day. Traditionally, Arab fishermen in the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, and Indian Ocean also wear sarongs. In another example, in Sri Lanka, sarongs are traditionally worn only by men and mostly within the home as it signifies lower class stature in Sri Lankan culture.


The word sarong is from the Malay word for "covering". The fashion version of sarongs are often brightly coloured, used as a wrap skirt and worn to the beach. We were however one of the first establishments within Europe to develop the use and versatility of Sarongs further in spa use. From bed coverings to wall hangings they are the perfect partner when setting up a spa or salon. The ease with which they can be washed and dried compared to towels adds an extra environmentally friendly angle as well.


Batik is a method of decorating fabric that has been practiced Indonesians for centuries. The process of Batik is simple - a design is applied to the fabric using melted wax then the fabric is then dipped in vegetable dye - the parts of fabric that are protected by the wax do not then absorb the dye. When the wax is removed from the fabric using hot water it shows a light pattern on the coloured fabric. Archaeological remains show that this method has been in use for over 1,000 years and were handed down among family members. The Batik method is believed to have been brought to Europe by Dutch traders with Western artisans began adopting this art form in the 19th century.