Indonesian Batik or bateʔ in Java originates from the Javanese "tik" that means "to dot". This is the art of decorating cloth using wax or dye. In Java Indonesia, this has been practiced for centuries and part of an ancient tradition in Indonesia.
People who will visit Indonesia will definitely be exposed to Batik. Batik art has been part of Indonesian lives from birth to end. One can witness infants being carried in batik slings decorated with symbols that bring the child good luck. While dead are shrouded in funerary batik.
Batik art has not profound influence just to Indonesian lives, but it also touches everyone that visits Indonesia.
Batik with all its colours, patterns, and designs has evoked many comparisons, and the most often heard; “Love is like batik created from many emotional colours, it is a fabric whose pattern and brightness may vary.”
Batik is the most expressive and subtle of the resist methods. The wide range of techniques available gives the artist the opportunity to explore a unique process in the most creative and exciting way.
Clothes with everyday designs are worn regularly in business and academic settings, while special varieties are incorporated into celebrations of marriage and pregnancy and into puppet theatre and other art forms. There are designs that are specifically made and reserved for royalties and mostly band to be worn by commoners. A person’s rank could be determined by the pattern of the batik he or she is wearing. The garments even play the central role in certain rituals, such as the ceremonial casting of royal batik into a volcano.
To understand the intricacies of this art, it is imperative to visit one of these Batik producing factories. This is where one can witness and understand the end to end process of producing Batik. Batik is dyed by proud craftspeople. They draw designs on fabric using dots and lines of hot wax which resist vegetable and other dyes. Therefore, allows the artisan to colour selectively by soaking the cloth in one colour, removing the wax with boiling water and repeating if multiple colours are desired. Be prepared to overwhelming stimulation of senses, as first-time visitors can get enthralled and absorbed in a wide spectrum of colours, patterns of this unique art form.
The wide diversity of patterns reflects a variety of influences, ranging from Arabic calligraphy, European bouquets and Chinese phoenixes to Japanese cherry blossoms and Indian or Persian peacocks. Often handed down within families for generations, the craft of batik is intertwined with the cultural identity of the Indonesian people and, through the symbolic meanings of its colours and designs, expresses their creativity and spirituality.
It has been our endeavour to travel to deep interiors of Indonesia and reach out to the artists to help them provide a platform and reach out to a wider audience. Our experience is no less exciting than those pearl divers who go hunting for pearls and oysters, it’s great to travel deeper and uncover some of the hidden gems of this great Batik art form and present their work for the world to admire.