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Home » Business Traveling, Crafts, Multiculturalism

Batik – Java’s traditional textile

Submitted by Henry Lowis on August 7, 2009 – 3:57 am Comments

Whenever you are in Jakarta & trying to buy souvenirs for your loved ones at home, the easiest thing to do is to stop by a “Batik Keris” store in one of Jakarta’s shopping malls. Batik is one of Indonesia’s most famous art forms and crafts. It is basically Javanese textile, usually cotton or silk, which is applied with melted wax prior to the dyeing process.

Traditional Batik colors are dark brown, indigo & white which represents the three main Hindu gods (Wisnu, Brahma & Shiva). You might be interested to know that Hindu was the main religion in Java until the 16th century before the dominance of Islamic kingdoms. However, Batik remains to be a part of the Indonesian culture with its primary producing areas in Yogyakarta, Pekalongan & Surakarta.

Cloths selected to be transformed into Batik must possess the highest quality with high thread count to be able to absorb the wax. Traditionally, the wax is applied to the cloth with a special tool called “Canting”, which is a spouted copper container. The Batik wax is commonly made from beeswax & paraffin. Each Batik pattern has its own meaning so make sure to ask the salesperson or tailor before your purchase.

Last note from us: Batik Keris also has an outlet in the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport so make sure to stop by for last minute gift ideas.

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