Everything you need to know about Batik
By Yana Gill – Sanggar Lestari
WHAT IS BATIK
Batik is a traditional Indonesian cloth that originated from the island of Java in the late 1800s and is still used today throughout Indonesia. It is said the word batik comes from the words Banyak Titik – meaning many dots.
TYPES OF BATIK MOTIFS
There are many types of batik motifs in Java, with each motif holding a certain meaning. Some motifs also traditionally held a certain social status within the Kingdoms of Java and were forbidden to be worn for everyday use by the Javanese people. Some of these motifs include the Parang Rusak, Sawat Garuda & Udan Liris, which were only to be worn by the Sultan of Yogyakarta. The size of the motifs also played a role, where the larger the motif in the pattern design, the higher their ranking in the Kingdom.
Over time, and through the introduction of the Islamic faith where the depiction of animals and humans is forbidden, batik patterns were slowly stylized to more floral motifs.
NATIONAL BATIK DAY
In 2009, UNESCO recognized batik as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, and so National Batik Day is celebrated every year on the 2nd of October to mark the anniversary.
Caring and for your Batik Clothes & Cloths
HOW DO I WASH BATIK?
Hang your batik up to air out after use
Wash new batik fabrics in one or two cold rinses to remove excess dye from the fabric.
Wash with similar colours on a gentle wash cycle or hand wash.
Do not use harsh bleaches.
I JUST MADE BATIK AT A LESTARI INCURSION – WHAT DO I DO WITH IT NOW TO GET RID OF THE WAX?
Traditionally, Batik is submerged in boiling water to get rid of wax as part of the process.
Since the batik you have made is a small square, you don’t need to boil it! Instead, you can place it between two pieces of paper towel and iron over it. This way, the wax will stick to the paper towel, leaving the batik cloth ready to display! You can hang it up on your wall, put it into a frame, or if you have made more than one, turn them into a batik garland!
Explore the world of Batik and more at https://www.sanggarlestari.com/.