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Monday, 28 May 2012


Today I would like to share with you some important information about what is Batik. I believe not all of you reading this might aware of how, where, when and what is Batik exactly, right? Even me myself don't actually put much attention towards this oldest heritage of our culture before this. But as the time goes by, I start to realized Batik has become apart of me since then and try to approach me without I'm even knowing it.(what?) 

The truth is how can I deliver something too beautiful and interesting with you without even sharing the facts and history about it? So, here it is.... ^_^

We wear Batik, we hold Batik, we buy Batik, we sell Batik and we heard about Batik but what is Batik exactly? After several readings, me found that Batik is originally come from an Indonesian (Javanese)  word “ambatik” where literally it means to mark with dots. While in practical it is actually referring to a process of dyeing and decorating fabrics. It uses a method so-called resist technique. 

What is Resist Technique?
AlKhattab Batik found that (of course, by referring to some articles and books)  resists technique is basically when hot liquid wax is painted on to fabric to prevent the dyes from penetrating the fibers. If the fabric is white in color, any lines or shapes of wax will maintain the color white. Then, after dyeing with pale colors
, more wax is applied on the pale colored area of the fabric to preserve it before next darker dyeing is applied.
In other words, Batik is a process of repetition in which a design is gradually built up through successive colors or dyes starting with the palest and ends with the darkest ones.

No one knows precisely when and where Batik technique has actually started.  However, from some researches and long-time historical observations, Thames & Hudson (the authors of the book I have referred to) concluded that Batik was found in Egypt fifth or sixth centuries A.D. The thing is Batik that was found in Egypt then has no proof that it is actually the same Batik that we understand now.
Some also discovered Batiks were being produced in China and exported to Japan, Central Asia, the Middle East and India via the Silk Route in the sixth century A.D. From Pepin Van Roojen’s research, AlKhattab Batik also found that Batik was brought to the South East Asia region by people from the Indian subcontinent as early as 100 A.D.
Although the origins of Batik may be disputed, it was in Malay Archipelago especially Java who have developed Batik into a decorative accomplished art. From Indonesia, Batik was exported to other islands of the archipelago including the Malay Peninsula (Tanah Melayu / Malaysia). 

Batik Industry and Workshops
Since 1830, Batik became popular among Asian-European women in Java, in which they recognized means to earn money in the Batik industry and established workshops to produce cloth decorated with designs and colors based on European and Western tasted. These were probably the first in Malay Archipelago to transfer Batik production to the outside world with efficiency. 

Development of Batik
The Second World War and Japanese invasion in South East Asia gives more or less dramatic impact to the development of Batik and textiles industry. After independence, Batik designs and techniques development then gradually continued and expanded parallel with the modern developments.
Nowadays, most fabric is decorated and tailored by machine but the market of high-quality traditional, hand-made Batik is still produced and needed. In Malaysia, Batik industry thrives and developed in the Malaysian states of Kelantan and Terengganu along the peninsula’s east coast.

There's a lot more information about Batik that I'll post next time. Now you could brag to others telling what is Batik. ^_^



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