Welcome to BatikSalaam. This is The Authenticity of Batik Indonesia!
In the fourth session of the Intergovernmental Committee of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Abu Dhabi on October 2, 2009, Indonesian Batik awarded the official recognition from UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. It fulfills the criteria of rich in philosophy of life of the people of Indonesia, as well as it contribution to the preservation of intangible cultural heritage in this period and the future. Even former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela had known as the lover of traditional Indonesian Batik and made it popular in his country. He also surprised former President of Indonesia, Soeharto, in his country visit to Indonesia in 1997. He was wearing Batik shirt, while Soeharto as host was wearing complete suit as international formal wear.
Batik is one kind of art that is poured over the cloth where the fabric will be showcased various types of images or motifs as desired. The word ” batik ” came from the combination of two Javanese words: “amba”, which means “writing” and “titik” which means “point” . There are two kinds of Batik, Hand-painted Batik (Batik Tulis) and Stamped Batik (Batik Cap). In Hand-painted Batik, the motifs are formed by liquid wax using a tool called “canting” or brush for large motifs, so that the liquid wax can seep into the fabric fibers. While Stamped in Batik, the motifs are created by a kind of large stamp made of copper that has been designed with a specific shape to create the desired motifs.
Indonesian Batik has many kinds of Batik motifs from each of the producer regions. Some areas are well-known as the producers of Batik in Indonesia: Cirebon, Pekalongan, Solo, Yogyakarta, and Madura . Not all of Indonesian Batik come from Java, but because Batik is more often used as traditional clothing and a source of livelihood in this island, Indonesian Batik development is dominated in Java . The tradition of Batik was originally a hereditary tradition, then sometimes a recognizable Batik motif is originated from a particular family. Some of Batik motif may indicate the social status of a person . Even today, some traditional Batik motif is only used by the royal family of Yogyakarta and Surakarta.
Indonesian Batik creates the motifs through different and unusual process compare to ordinary fabrics which are generally produced by fabric printing machine to create the motifs. Then Batik has also different way of maintenance than the ordinary fabric. In both conditions, fabric and clothing, Batik should be considered more careful in the washing, drying, and ironing. To keep its beautiful colors, motifs, and the quality of Batik itself, avoid to use regular detergent. Instead, use the special liquid soaps for Batik from Lerak which are now circulating widely on the market. Hand wash only and if the special liquid soaps are not available, use hair shampoo that has been dissolved in the water first. Better not to squeeze, then immediately hung in the shade and windy place. Do not expose to direct sunlight. Low temperature iron is highly recommended to keep our Batik into neat condition.
Indonesian Batik is a culture that is always interesting to be developed over the times. At the beginning, Batik used to only made by hand-painting technique, but after the increasing demand of Batik , then the stamp technique came to shorten the production process of Batik. The more rapid development of technology, a lot of fabric makers who use the motifs those are usually used in Batik, but through printing machine process. Though this technique is not recognized as a making process of Batik. The fabric is not Batik, but just ordinary fabric using Batik motifs . Because that is recognized by UNESCO itself is a process of making Batik itself, not the motifs which are used . So that if we usually hear people call something as printed Batik, it is not Batik. Batik is recognized only through two processes, hand-painting and stamp that must go through the process of waxing in the making. Let’s keep the preservation of our culture by using the authentic Batik. Do not let the international community to reward and honor the Indonesian culture, while us, the origin people of Indonesia would be apathetic towards the preservation of our own culture. Be proud of the authentic fabric art of Indonesia. Keep cooperate together with us, Batik Salaam, The Authenticity of Batik Indonesia.
Firdayanti Ayu Nurinda