Kebaya Kerancang

Kebaya Kerancang or also called Kebaya Encim, is one of the popular Betawi kebaya nowadays, worn by young and middle-aged women, teenage and young girls. In the past, this type of kebaya was used in combination with European-made lacquer or brocade material which was covered with applique so that it looked like it was directly embroidered. There are many variations of embroidery. The one with lots of pores/little holes is called kerancang.

Nowadays kerancang design can be done by computer. The process is faster, however, the kind of embroidery produced is a bit hard, rough, and less perfect. The quality produced is much below the classic ones.

The original Kebaya Encim is a rather short, having sharp edge at the front part of around 12 to 30 cm from the bottom. It is commonly called kebaya sonday. The lower part of the kebaya’s arm widens with circle size of 20 to 35 cm. This type of design is called the goeng model of kebaya, which is gaining its popularity again nowadays. It is actually an old-fashioned model.

Kebaya Kerancang Betawi is gaining popularity, and continuously modified and modernized to meet the current market trend, using organdy elements, silk, brocade, natural silk, and others. Kebaya Kerancang is worn by young ladies with long skirt or trouser nowadays, not with traditional sarong as in the past.

Modernization affects traditional clothing, including Betawi kebaya. However, the original one still should be preserved.

Kebaya Kerancang Betawi can be worn with a sarong or long cloth that is worn as sarong. All kind of sarongs can be used. The other accessories used is selendang (shawl), which was not used in the past, but quite popular to be worn today, to bring the feel of more official and authoritative.

Kebaya Encim is generally made of thin materials, such as rubia, paris, voal, brocade, chiffon.

a. Characteristics of typical Kebaya Encim :

  • Short style kebaya that has sharp edge in the front part between 12 to 30 cm, called Sonday
  • The arm part is wider than ordinary kebaya, with circle size around 20 to 35 cm
  • Typically worn in combination with pucuk rebung model of sarong, bouquet model, or kain pagi sore (long cloth worn as sarong and can be applied for day and night).
  • Accessories: various decorative pins, necklaces and earings.

b. Philosophy: symbolizing the beauty, the maturity, happiness and social interaction which is following the rule and guidance of the ancestors. The aim is for maintaining the grace and the honor of ladies.

c. Function and Use: worn as an employee uniform at government offices, private companies and schools, as well as a type of clothing for various ceremonial events and cultural performances.