Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Art of Indonesian Batik Making

This is easily the best part of my visit to Solo. Indonesian Batik has been acknowledged by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Big words, right? That is how powerful batik is as a symbol of Indonesian heritage.

Batik may just be a cloth to anyone. But what others don't know is how it is being laboriously made. The best batik is made traditionally using a manual wax-resist dyeing technique.

Below are the photos I took at the House of Danar Hadi Batik Factory:

tracing the patterns to the cloth

application of first wax to the outline of the pattern

more wax applications

a worker carefully applying wax using the plate

batik plates

drying out the waxed fabrics

final dye bath

the finished products

I was so drawn by the stories behind this work of art. How there's a certain type of batik to be used in every occasion or stage of life, a different batik for a particular member of the society, a batik to show your Royal lineage, how you can distinguish from which part of the country you're from depending on the design of your batik. Such very interesting stories. The Javanese has indeed a very rich culture and heritage. And now I understand why UNESCO has designated batik to be part of it's intangible heritage list.

This is Part 2-2 of my Yogyakarta travel series.