The best traditional batik cloths used to be made in the royal and princely courts of Java with superb artistry as well as lots of patience. It usually took months to finish a single cloth.
Hand-painted batik is very delicate, very beautiful and very valuable. First, the cloth is
- prepared. It is thoroughly washed and dipped a thin starch solution. The fabric is dried and
gently pounded with a wooden mallet. The outline of the pattern is then drawn in pencil
on the cloth, then traced with wax with a little spouted container called a canting. Then, in several stages, the details are filled in.
Finally, the colors are applied by dipping the cloth in solutions of natural dyes — one color at a time. Each time in between the app lication of different colors, the waxing proc ess is repeated to cover every single line or dot already dyed.
The invention of stamped batik cons iderably shortened the process, but at the price of quality.
Surakarta, Yogyakarta, Pekalongan, Banyumas, Garut, Cirebon, Lamongan and Madura are today among the best known modern- centers of the art.
Category: Discover Indonesia