It’s considered the ‘national fabric’ of The Bahamas. Androsia; the brightly colored authentic Bahamian hand-dyed cotton fabric, with designs inspired by the beauty of the islands and Bahamian culture can be seen in several resorts across the archipelago. The word batik originates from the Javanese ‘tik’ and means to dot. The art of decorating cloth using wax and dye, has been practised for centuries and has been highly popularized in Indonesia.
“We batik from start to finish,” says Casey Birch, whose grandmother Rosie Birch started Androsia on the island of Andros in the 1960s. “In 1973 it kind of came together as a business and it was started because she was an artist an she wanted some kind of art form that could celebrate the natural beauty of The Bahamas. That is why all of our colors and designs are inspired by the beauty of The Bahamas. She also wanted something that was low tech and could provide employment particularly to the women of Andros.”
“In 1973 she started it as a full fledged company sending out things to be sewn in different houses by different women throughout the island. Gradually we moved to a factory. We are still there. We are still producing batik. We still come up with new designs every year.”
A huge part of the business is producing wearable Bahamian art. Birch says that Androsia is rolling out some ‘exciting options’ for the nation’s Independence this year. “We consider it our birthday as well and we will be releasing a whole bunch of exciting options. We want to offer special things to our customers, people who have supported us throughout the years. For new customers will be offering some specials. If you are a small and medium size business that always found it very daunting to try and pay for customs print you can now get it free with a wholesale purchase. We want a piece of Androsia in every Bahamians closet. That’s why we produce it.”
“We’re encouraged that so many businesses already support us but we are looking to reach out to more people and let them know what we have to offer,” says Birch.