This month we all celebrate that wonderful holiday of love: Valentine’s Day. Whether it is with that someone special, with family members, with friends, or simply a time to remember your own needs, February 14 is a day to feel special and do something nice for yourself and for someone else.
If you are running out of ideas for someone else’s gift, pick up a sarong or two in some bright colors or maybe a heart pattern. The versatile gift can be used for anything the other person may need or want, without you having to guess. You also avoid having to know sizes. If you are feeling a little more intimate, get some white sarongs and try painting them yourself. You can even make an event out of it and paint the sarongs with your loved ones. They can create whatever pattern they want and know that you cared enough to want to do something with them.
For the craftier gift giver, try making your own flowers out of sarong fabric. Buy a few different sarongs in a variety of colors and patterns. Cut out pieces in the shapes of petals and either stitch or tie them together. If you don’t want to deal with the shapes, simply cut circles and fold them to make petal shapes. Grab some pipe cleaners or floral wire for the stems, and wrap up your bouquet with a few strips of sarong at the bottom. You can even save the edges with fringe for this last part.
As always, if you already have a gift, good job on thinking ahead. Maybe a beautifully patterned sarong is the perfect wrapping paper.
Have fun this Valentine’s Day. Whether you are enjoying it for yourself or with many others, remember to spread the joy.
With the new Ombre Sarongs for summer 2013, the heat is turning up. In many places during the past few weeks, the weather has been unseasonably warm, and many of us are starting to think of the spring and summer vacations ahead. Why not get a head start? The ombre sarong is dyed with a shadow effect, fading from lighter color to a darker shade. The subtlety and beauty of this type of sarong make it perfect for spring wear. The pastel shades created by the color shift make this an easily adaptable piece for that spring break swim suit, a shawl for that new sundress, or a scarf as winter tries to hold on to those last few moments of cool wind.
The lighter colors are perfect for the Easter season. Try it out as your own homemade bag for Easter egg hunts. Try planning your own egg hunt for your neighborhood or for your friends and their children. Pass out a few ombre sarongs for the kids to use and play with, and your guests will have a blast.
Try out the new sarongs for Valentine’s Day. Create a soft light for a romantic dinner by draping a few of these light colored sarongs over the lamps. Hang them on the walls for a spark of color. Surprise a girlfriend, wife, sister, or mother with a gift for the spring. Plan a picnic with your loved ones and wrap everything in sarongs.
Mix your brightly colored sarongs with a few ombre sarongs for an entirely new effect. Unique and beautiful, they make a great addition to a spring wardrobe.
Summer is just around the corner and Custom Sarongs is ramping up for a long, hot, and fun summer season. We will be launching a new collection of ombre sarongs perfect for any beach outing.
We hand dye each and every ombre sarong. Each one is unique in their own way. We use our standard white sarongs with fringes to create our ombre sarongs.
If you're interested in how we create ombre sarongs, visit this blog post.
The sarong in Fiji is known as the sulu, though there are often other words added to the name for sulus for differing occasions. The version in Fiji has influenced others as well as been influenced by separate cultures. The lava lava is one that has been affected by the Fiji culture and use of the sulu.
The sulu was originally used in different ways by people of different rank and status. Unmarried women would wear a sulu tied as a shorter skirt, while married women wore a longer version. This was partially to do with the leg tattoos which married women or women of status would receive. The sulu would cover these tattoos.
The popularity of this piece of clothing in Fiji is extremely high. Not only do members of both sexes wear them, they are also incorporated into festivals, ceremonies, military dress uniforms, casual wear, and many others. For warmer occasions, the sulu could be tied as a short skirt or dress or even shorts for men when movement was essential. Cooler evenings could call for a longer skirt or a skirt and shirt. The versatility of the sulu allowed for easy retying throughout the day for any occasion that may arise. The sulu has even been incorporated more recently with western suit jackets for a more dressed up look.
While similar in many ways to other cultures, the sulu of Fiji is still worn today as a traditional dress, occasionally also made of tapa cloth – a bark cloth.
There are many cultures in which the sarong plays a role in both daily life and in ceremonies. What better way to explore the culture and uses of the sarong than to take a cue from these varied traditions?
The Samoan people use the sarong under a different name. Instead, they refer to this rectangular piece of cloth as a lava lava. Beginning before the Samoan culture used cloth extensively, the lava lava was originally made from bark, leaves, shells, flowers, or any number of other natural materials. The transition of the lava lava to fabric occurred once the culture began to interact with the outside world beyond their shores. Some of the traditional materials are still used today in ceremonies and dances to preserve a sense of history and culture.
Samoan men and women with specific tattoos (the pe’a body tattoo for men and the malu leg tattoo for women) will often roll or tuck the lava lava to expose these tattoos, particularly during dances or ceremonies. Otherwise, the lava lava can be worn as an ankle length skirt or as a knee length skirt, depending on the occasion and the practicality. Most often, women wear the ankle length lava lava, while men favor the knee length.
Other cultures have also influenced the lava lava of the Samoans over the years. Most notable is the sulu of Fiji. This crossover has resulted in specifically made lava lava with buckles and pockets. They are also made in a solid color on many occasions, in contrast to the more traditional lava lava in bright patterns. More modern lava lava have also come to be made in other materials such as velvet and satin, or with sequins to be used to jazz up dances and festivals.
The lava lava is traditionally tied in the center with an overhand knot around the waist.
The allure of trends, whether they are clothing trends or something else entirely, is often enhanced celebrity endorsement. While I may not know celebrities personally to ask them their opinions, pictures as they say are worth a thousand words. I’ve mentioned female celebrities like Paris Hilton and the Kardashians, Sandra Bullock, and Avril Lavigne, who have all been photographed in their summer sarongs. From the glamorous days of old Hollywood with Dorothy Lamour to the beaches of today, women are everywhere in sarongs. Where are all the men?
I have said that men can wear sarongs just as easily. Men in Indonesian and Polynesian cultures wear sarongs every day. However, it may have seemed a little more far-fetched that the average male of Hollywood or New York would be seen with these colorful bits of fabric tied around their waist. In fact, this is not the case. World famous actor, “pirate”, “gypsy-type”, and gorgeous man Johnny Depp decided sarongs were great for a day on the boat. With a light blue sarong wrapped around his hips, Depp seemed to be having a great day in the sun. Soccer player David Beckham was not one to be left out either. Photographed walking with his wife, Victoria, Beckham proudly sported a black patterned sarong tied and hanging to his ankles. Korean model Oh Jong Sung even wore a brown patterned sarong while representing South Korea in the 2007 Mr. International competition.
Men, take a cue from these famous sarong-wearers and don’t be afraid to give it a try. Look up these pictures and let them do the talking.
As the holidays approach and the season of giving is upon us, it is inevitable that some of us will find ourselves in our living rooms the day before a big holiday party with gifts to wrap. Some of us will be wandering the malls and browsing online for those last minute things that we can have rush shipped for the people we love and for whom we want a little extra something. Sarongs can solve all of these last minute problems.
If you have a stash of sarongs on hand, you will always have wrapping paper, bows, and a last-minute gift. You may have collected the obligatory Christmas red and green, a festive gold or silver for all holidays, or any variety of colors you have collected from the year past. A sarong used as wrapping paper is a soft and delicate way to top off any gift. Not only does your loved one get a beautiful gift, but they can keep the “wrapping paper” as a gift as well. Even if you want the traditional wrapping paper, try a small sarong as a pretty bow. Make your gift stand out in a crowd.
Even if you don’t have a gift to wrap, use the sarong as a gift in itself. This can work for anyone you have left on your list. For that last-minute, wonderful gift, give a sarong and top it off with a few ideas of how to use it. You can make your own book of ways to tie a sarong or just relay your ideas in person.
As always, sarongs can jazz up your holiday party as well. Transform those old Halloween and fall decorations into Christmas, Hanukkah, or whatever holiday you celebrate. Whether you are the host for the holidays, or just want to decorate for yourself, have fun with it and the results will show.
The importance of fabrics has spanned the ages. In ancient times, fabrics were often used in place of currency, as currency across countries and realms was not consistent. The trade of fabric, particularly silk, became common. Every nation needed clothes for their people, status symbols for their monarchs and leaders, and religious items. Fabric served all of these purposes. Colors were often indications of how rich a person was, purple in many cases being reserved for royalty. The cost of the dyes and the difficulty of creating these colored fabrics would determine the desirability. Fine fabrics in rare colors were sometimes more valuable than gold.
Fabric was used in religious ceremonies, as well as everyday life. For religions in more conservative cultures, fabric would be used to cover the head and hair of women (even still done in certain places today). Sarongs themselves have even been used in religious ceremonies in tropical cultures where this garment is widely used. The fashion of tying could be changed to indicate religious attitudes or piety. The colors and patterns can be specific to events or ceremonies (as kilt patterns indicate heritage).
The history of fabric is long and involved. Fabrics used in art, clothing, religion, politics, and economics are all common. While fabric today doesn’t always maintain the same level of importance, the rich history of it is fascinating. Sarongs and other fabrics can, in some cases, be handed down for generations. Hand-painted sarongs, sarongs made of delicate and fine fabric, and even simply sarongs that are well loved can be gifted between generations. The importance of fabric is still there, it must simply be celebrated.
If you are like me and love crafts of all sorts, you are always looking for your next project. I’ve found that combining several art forms can bring much more interesting results than simply one craft alone. I’ve said before that sarong uses are only limited by your own imagination. I don’t mean simply in the way they are tied, draped, or even cut. Why not try adding a little yarn to your sarong masterpiece? Cut the sides of a sarong shirt and lace it back up with a fun colored yarn. You can do the same to make corsets, widen the leg of a pair of sarong pants or the sides of a skirt. Maybe your yarn doesn’t even hold anything together. It may simply be decoratively stitched on top of your fabric to enhance the sarong’s design or to give it a new one.
Get creative with other fabrics. Add patches or designs in fabrics of different colors and textures on top of your sarong. You can make your sarong fabric into something else entirely by creating a patchwork fabric. Either use it as a regular sarong once it is done or make it a blanket or wall hanging. You can even sew the pieces together with different size and colors of thread and yarn to add another dimension.
If you work with beads, thread a strand together and attach it to several points on a sarong skirt for a belly dancer feel to your outfit. If you aren’t quite up for that exotic a look, try putting two sarongs together with quilt batting in between. Then quilt the fabric together adding a few beads to your stitches. You can even arrange them to write messages in your fabric.
Whatever your craft, enjoy it whenever and however you can. Take the opportunities to explore new ways of doing and you may find something you never thought possible. You will end up with something beautiful.
The election this year was a particularly charged one. While I won’t get into politics and opinions on government, I will use this election season as a jumping off point to talk about how sarongs can be particularly effective advertising tools.
Someone I know was running for a political office (I won’t say which one or where). They ran a campaign with television advertisements, rallies, and many of the other traditional forms of getting their name out there. However, one of the most striking things to me was a collection of clothing pieces with their name printed on a bright red background. While I mostly saw t shirts, it was the same principle as a sarong. The allure of having such a bright color to attract attention was so eye catching that the message stuck. Many of us are visual learners, and the visual of a sarong like that is not easily erased.
The versatility of the sarong as advertising is also a strong draw. Unlike the t shirts of my friend’s campaign, the sarong can either be a shirt, skirt, dress, shawl, or simply a flag. They can be sold to support a campaign, a business, or a cause. They can be given away to promote a message. With so many opinions floating around in the world, why not be able to share them all?
Either by creating your own logo or adding your name to an existing design, sarong advertising can be both fun and effective. Go nuts. And enjoy the season!