Much more than just a textile

COFO is about the reviving of a forgotten Indonesian heritage, Kain Koffo or the Koffo Fabric. Inspired by the magical beauty of its place of origin, an unspoiled paradise in North Sulawesi, Sangihe Island, our mission is to bring this hidden treasure out for the world to experience.



The word Koffo is the same as hote in Sangihe’s daily language,

which is one of banana’s species that grow abundantly in the islands of Sangihe for centuries.

Hote banana is a significant plant in the life of Sangihe’s tribe, used as the basic material for fabric as well as one of the components for the traditional house in the region.

Towards the end of 1800, the Colonial Dutch forbid and ordered to destroy hote banana plantation to be replaced by coffee and cotton. Despite the unfortunate circumstances, the hote banana survived and remained planted by the people of Sangihe because it was irreplaceable as the material for fabric.

Koffo fabric

Koffo fabric was last presented in 1927 by Tabukan Kingdom at the Palace of Sultan Surakarta and received an Erediploma from the Colonial Dutch. Somehow, it then gradually disappeared. In 1979, Koffo fabric was last presented in Yogyakarta by Ibu Makatengkeng Rodingan.

Koffo Textile has been officially stated as the non-material heritage to be preserved and protected, among the 33 Indonesian traditional textiles by the Ministry of Education & Culture in 2017.

The motifs on Koffo fabric are adapted from the nature with philosophies that are related to the culture in Sangihe, dated back to the primitive age until 1900. Koffo fabric with motifs is commonly worn by the elites.

Sangihe tribe recognizes fabric coloring like purple, red, and brown.

Purple and brown color are taken from Mengkudu’s and Mangroove’s roots and stem, yellow from Turmeric, green from leaves and red from Kesumba circumstances, the hote banana survived and remained planted by the people of Sangihe because it was irreplaceable as the material for fabric.

The delicate and lengthy process of turning a banana stem into colorful soft banana fibers, followed by an unhurriedly traditional technique of coloring and weaving, in order to produce individual magnificent texture and historically meaningful designs, ready to wear, are what makes Koffo a highly valuable treasure by definition.


COFO strives to preserve and revive this proud Sangihe Talaud’s heritage by making it relevant to the modern life.

Combined with cotton and other modern materials, we have modified Koffo fabric and applied it to urban style fashion through a variety of techniques such as stitched, puffed and embossed screen printing, and laser cut, while sustaining the durable and strong characteristics of banana fibers.


Not only unique in the history of its existence, the motifs of Sangihe Talaud’s woven also posses life philosophy.

Based on geometry, the key figure Kakunsi, which is considered as the most primitive arts from the oldest tribes in Indonesia, appears in different variations with the basic motif that can still be recognized in all. Kakunsi motif can be traced back to the house motif in Sangihe Talaud, which represents respect, honour, establishment, success, and a protective soul of its people.

COFO hopes to enliven these extraordinary and profound values in each Koffo fabric produced and share its richness with the rest of the world in as many ways as possible.


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