Originated from Java, Indonesia, Batik is a traditional art formed by a unique wax-resist dyeing technique.
Batik has become a means of artistic expression for many people in Asia and has become deeply entrenched in the Asian culture. Batik is done when hot wax beads or blocks are melted over fire. The hot wax is then scooped up with the canting and used to draw on the fabric. Fabric dyes is then painted on the fabric, with the applied wax resisting the dyes. When the colouring is completed, remove the applied wax by submerging the cloth in boiling water, hairdryer or using an iron to melt the wax.
Batik is listed on UNESCO’s Intangible Heritage Cultural Heritage of Humanity List. Batik can be found all around Indonesia – Batik designs adorning the walls of the house and adorned on clothing. Batik plays an important role in the Indonesian culture. Batik paintings are incorporated into many events and situations, from the celebrations of birth, marriage and even in funerals. Batik designs are influenced from various cultures – Arabic, European, Chinese and many other cultures. Batik has many symbolic meanings and expresses creativity and spirituality. Batik is thought be more than 1,000 years old, with the most traditional designs made with natural ingredients, giving batik the unique blue and brown colours.
Batik is also celebrated on a day – Hari Batik Nasional. This day is on October 2 and marks the anniversary of when UNESCO recognised batik as a piece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. On this day, people dress up in this traditional design.
TOOLS OF THE TRADE
Canting / tjanting – this is your paint brush when it comes to batik painting. The canting is a compact, thin wall spouted copper container that is fixed to a bamboo handle. Cantings come in different sizes for different applications. The canting is filled with melted wax and one uses it to draw the designs on the cloth.
Wax – different types of wax can be used in batik. Most people use beeswax or paraffin. The wax must be melted to the right temperature such that it is not too hot that it will flow too quickly or not too cold that it will clog the canting.
Dyes – traditionally, batik was indigo in colour. In some cases, people associate the colours of the dyes to religious figures.
Fabric – silk or cotton was the most common way to go, however, modern day artisans have now begun using chiffon, cheesecloth or even velvet to create their pieces.
Are you interested in learning more about Batik Art?
Find out more about Batik by joining us in our Batik workshop! Register for VAC’s First Batik Art Workshop
22nd April 2019, 7:30pm to 10:00pm.
Early Bird – $51nett/pax (15% off! SPECIAL!) Sign up before 10 April!
Regular – $60nett/pax
Read more about Batik by clicking on this link! The article was written by our workshop instructor, Tony! Silkair | A Handy Guide to Indonesian Batik
Visit Tony’s website to learn more cool facts about Batik! aNERD Gallery | Batik