2:06 PM | Posted in
Batik is a cloth that traditionally uses a manual wax-resist dyeing technique.

Javanese traditional batik, especially from Yogyakarta and Surakarta, has notable meanings rooted to the Javanese conceptualization of the universe. Traditional colours include indigo, dark brown, and white, which represent the three major Hindu Gods (Brahmā, Visnu, and Śiva). This is related to the fact that natural dyes are most commonly available in indigo and brown. Certain patterns can only be worn by nobility; traditionally, wider stripes or wavy lines of greater width indicated higher rank. Consequently, during Javanese ceremonies, one could determine the royal lineage of a person by the cloth he or she was wearing.







Other regions of Indonesia have their own unique patterns that normally take themes from everyday lives, incorporating patterns such as flowers, nature, animals, folklore or people. The colours of pesisir batik, from the coastal cities of northern Java, is especially vibrant, and it absorbs influence from the Javanese, Arab, Chinese and Dutch culture. In the colonial times pesisir batik was a favourite of the Peranakan Chinese, Dutch and Eurasians.[citation needed]

UNESCO designated Indonesian batik as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity on October 2, 2009. As part of the acknowledgment, UNESCO insisted that Indonesia preserve their heritage.

History

Wax resist dyeing technique in fabric is an ancient art form. Discoveries show it already existed in Egypt in the 4th century BCE, where it was used to wrap mummies; linen was soaked in wax, and scratched using a sharp tool. In Asia, the technique was practised in China during the T'ang dynasty (618-907 CE), and in India and Japan during the Nara period (645-794 CE). In Africa it was originally practised by the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria, Soninke and Wolof in Senegal.

In Java, Indonesia, batik predates written records. G. P. Rouffaer argues that the technique might have been introduced during the 6th or 7th century from India or Sri Lanka. On the other hand, JLA. Brandes (a Dutch archeologist) and F.A. Sutjipto (an Indonesian archeologist) believe Indonesian batik is a native tradition, regions such as Toraja, Flores, Halmahera, and Papua, which were not directly influenced by Hinduism and have an old age tradition of batik making.

Rouffaer also reported that the gringsing pattern was already known by the 12th century in Kediri, East Java. He concluded that such a delicate pattern could only be created by means of the canting (also spelled tjanting or tjunting; pronounced [ˌtʃanˈtiŋ]) tool. He proposed that the canting was invented in Java around that time. The carving details of clothes wore by Prajnaparamita, the statue of buddhist goddess of transcendental wisdom from East Java circa 13th century CE. The clothes details shows intricate floral pattern similar to today traditional Javanese batik. This suggested intricate batik fabric pattern applied by canting already existed in 13th century Java or even earlier.

Batik was mentioned in the 17th century Malay Annals. The legend goes when Laksamana Hang Nadim was ordered by Sultan Mahmud to sail to India to get 140 pieces of serasah cloth (batik) with 40 types of flowers depicted on each. Unable to find any that fulfilled the requirements explained to him, he made up his own. On his return unfortunately, his ship sank and he only managed to bring four pieces, earning displeasure from the Sultan.

In Europe, the technique is described for the first time in the History of Java, published in London in 1817 by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles who had been a British governor for the island. In 1873 the Dutch merchant Van Rijckevorsel gave the pieces he collected during a trip to Indonesia to the ethnographic museum in Rotterdam. Today Tropenmuseum houses the biggest collection of Indonesian batik in the Netherlands. The Dutch were active in developing batik in the colonial era, they introduced new innovations and prints. And it was indeed starting from the early 19th century that the art of batik really grew finer and reached its golden period. Exposed to the Exposition Universelle at Paris in 1900, the Indonesian batik impressed the public and the artisans. After the independence of Indonesia and the decline of the Dutch textile industry, the Dutch batik production was lost. The Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag contains artifacts from that era.

Due to globalization and industrialization, which introduced automated techniques, new breeds of batik, known as batik cap and batik print emerged, and the traditional batik, which incorporates the hand written wax-resist dyeing technique is known now as batik tulis

At the same time, according to the Museum of Cultural History of Oslo, Indonesian immigrants to Malaysia brought the art with them. As late as the 1920s Javanese batik makers introduced the use of wax and copper blocks on Malaysia's east coast. The production of hand drawn batik in Malaysia is of recent date and is related to the Javanese batik tulis.


Indonesia Culture

Depending on the quality of the art work, dyes, and fabric, the finest batik tulis halus cloth can fetch several thousand dollars and it probably took several months to make. Batik tulis has both sides of the cloth ornamented.

In Indonesia, traditionally, batik was sold in 2.25-meter lengths used for kain panjang or sarong for kebaya dress. It can also be worn by wrapping it around the body, or made into a hat known as blangkon. Infants are carried in batik slings decorated with symbols designed to bring the child luck. Certain batik designs are reserved for brides and bridegrooms, as well as their families. The dead are shrouded in funerary batik. Other designs are reserved for the Sultan and his family or their attendants. A person's rank could be determined by the pattern of the batik he or she wore.


For special occasions, batik was formerly decorated with gold leaf or dust. This cloth is known as prada (a Javanese word for gold) cloth. Gold decorated cloth is still made today; however, gold paint has replaced gold dust and leaf.

Batik garments play a central role in certain rituals, such as the ceremonial casting of royal batik into a volcano. In the Javanese naloni mitoni "first pregnancy" ceremony, the mother-to-be is wrapped in seven layers of batik, wishing her good things. Batik is also prominent in the tedak siten ceremony when a child touches the earth for the first time. Batik is also part of the labuhan ceremony when people gather at a beach to throw their problems away into the sea.

Contemporary batik, while owing much to the past, is markedly different from the more traditional and formal styles. For example, the artist may use etching, discharge dyeing, stencils, different tools for waxing and dyeing, or wax recipes with different resist values. They may work with silk, cotton, wool, leather, paper, or even wood and ceramics. 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.

In Indonesia, batik popularity has had its up and downs. Historically, it was essential for ceremonial costumes and it was worn as part of a kebaya dress, which was commonly worn every day. According to Professor Michael Hitchcock of the University of Chichester (UK), batik "has a strong political dimension. The batik shirt was invented as a formal non-Western shirt for men in Indonesia in the 1960s. It waned from the 1960s onwards, because more and more women chose western clothes. However, batik clothing has revived somewhat in the 21st century, due to the effort of Indonesian fashion designers to innovate the kebaya by incorporating new colors, fabrics, and patterns. Batik is a fashion item for many young people in Indonesia, such as a shirt, dress, or scarf for casual wear. For a formal occasion, a kebaya is standard for women. It is also acceptable for men to wear batik in the office or as a replacement for jacket-and-tie at certain receptions.

The female uniform of Garuda Indonesia flight attendants is more authentic modern interpretations of batik and kebaya, the kebaya is designed in simple yet classic kartini style with sarong in parang or lereng gondosuli motif, which also incorporate garuda's wing motif and small dots represent jasmine.The sarong motif symbolizes the ‘Fragrant Ray of Life’ and endows the wearer with elegance. The uniform consists of three colors; aqua green which implies sophistication, the tropics and freshness; orange to suggest warmth, friendliness and energy; and blue which symbolizes dependability, trustworthiness, immortality and tranquility.

Related Articles



Category:
��

Comments

11 responses to "Batik : Indonesian Cloth"

  1. sign maintenance On January 29, 2011 at 2:18 AM

    This is more than I ever thought I would know about Indonesian cloth.

     
  2. batubara On January 31, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    friday is batik day..

    good article rina..!!

     
  3. фотозйомка в рівному On February 19, 2011 at 3:22 PM

    I luv oriental style!

     
  4. BATON ROUGE ATTRACTIONS On April 26, 2011 at 4:49 AM

    I have seen that country. The people of that country and the culture is quite amazing. Specially, the Indonesian clothes made me very impressed. I was there in Indonesia for 2 weeks.

     
  5. 5 Star Luxury Hotels On May 27, 2011 at 12:16 AM

    Indonesian clothes are quite famous in Southern Asia.

     
  6. wood burning stoves On June 23, 2011 at 4:59 PM

    Indonesia clothing is looking good. This type of wearing is some time good. Quality is best and beautiful.



    wood burning stoves

     
  7. Jewellery Singapore On October 14, 2011 at 6:25 PM

    its beautifully illustrate the tradition and its impact on even our clothing. Nice blog about various country culture.

     
  8. Body jewelry On November 8, 2011 at 7:41 PM

    Batik painting is a type of painting done on clothes. It is a beautiful art and can make lots of clothes

     
  9. florist On November 24, 2011 at 7:52 PM

    This information about the batik is very much engaging and I really like the post very much as the information provided is helpful.

     
  10. Picnic Locations in Gurgaon On February 10, 2015 at 6:35 PM

    Blogging is the new poetry. I find it wonderful and amazing in many ways.

     
  11. Launch Business in Delhi On February 17, 2015 at 3:15 PM

    I certainly agree to some points that you have discussed on this post. I appreciate that you have shared some reliable tips on this review.