The original Batik is a piece of art whose designs are painted with liquid wax, using a special tool called canting, a kind of spoon or spatula. It is considered an art with a high aesthetic value and as clothing has been part of Indonesian culture (especially Java) for a long time.
In Indonesia, Batik is used by people on all kinds of occasions, both for formal and non-formal events. Several institutions, both governmental and private, including schools, also use batik in their uniforms.
Employees wearing Batik shirts (Photo: quetalmexico.com)
The Batik tradition is transmitted from generation to generation, which is why you can sometimes identify a specific Batik design with a particular family. Some reasons for Batik may show someone's social status.
Some of the best known Indonesian batik motifs include the Parang Rusak, the Sogan, the Megamendung and the Gentongan, among others.
The motif of the Batik Parang Rusak is very popular among Batik lovers. This style has a deep meaning: the human war against life and lust.
Parang comes from the word pereng or italic. The shape of the motif is in the shape of the letter "S" with a long and wavy slope. Parang's motifs spread throughout Java, starting from Central Java to Yogyakarta and West Java.
Illustration: Batik Parang (Photo: Wikipedia)
On the other hand, the style of batik Sogan is more expressive; It is characterized by the dominance of the light brown color and has unique motifs, such as flowers with specific accents and curved lines.
Previously, Batik was only used by the kings of Java, especially in Yogyakarta and in the Solo Sultanate. However, it can now be used by anyone, both by the royal family and by ordinary people.
Illustration: Batik Sogan (Foto: infobatik.id)
For its part, the Batik Megamendung has become an artistic icon of the Cirebon region. The Megamendung style is not only famous in Indonesia but also in foreign countries. Even a Dutch citizen named Pepin van Roojen used this style of Batik as the cover of his book entitled Batik Design.
Illustration: Batik Megamendung Cirebon (Foto: www.pixabay.com)
It is known that the style of Batik Gentongan originated in Madura. It is characterized by the use of simple abstract motifs, plants (leaves and flowers) or a combination of both. Batik colors are often intense and contrasting, such as red, yellow, green or purple.
This style is peculiar that, during the elaboration process, a barrel is used as a tool to soak the fabric. The barrel technique, in addition, is only performed for one type of color, the indigo. Gentong Batik's coloring technique is only found in two places, located in the Tanjung Bumi district and the Bangkalan regency.
Illustration Batik Gentongan. (Foto: batikindonesiareview.blogspot.com)
Now, according to manufacturing techniques, the Batik is classified in written Batik, printed Batik and painted Batik.
The written Batik is a hand-decorated fabric with textures and patterns. Making this type of Batik takes approximately 2 to 3 months.
The printed Batik is a fabric decorated with textures and patterns printed with a stamp (usually copper). The process to make this kind of quality takes approximately 2 to 3 days.
The painted Batik is the one made by painting directly on a white cloth.
Due to its uniqueness, the Indonesian Batik, as a whole of techniques, technology and the development of related motives and culture, has been designated by UNESCO as Humanitarian Heritage for the Oral and Non-False Culture (Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity) since October 2, 2009.