Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Jogja: Batik Tulis

So I don't have many pictures of us shopping for batik and other Indonesian handicrafts in Jogja because, well, it was just shopping.  But I did snap a few photos of the woman in the midst of making batik in one of the stores where we shopped.  She was making batik tulis, or hand-drawn batik (literally: written batik).  She was hand-applying melted wax to the cotton cloth using a tjanting, a tool that allows the wax to seep through.   

Once the drawing is done and the wax has dried, the fabric is then dyed.  Where there is wax on the fabric, the dye will not seep in.  After the dying is done, the wax is removed and the design remains the original color of the cloth.  How they get all those intricate designs with multiple colors is still a mystery to me, but I assume it takes many steps and much time.

Most of the batik we bought (and we bought a lot, as bules are wont to do in Jogja) is more likely to be batik cap because it is less expensive than the intricate and labor-intensive batik tulis, which can take months to complete and cost hundreds of dollars.  Batik cap is batik produced not with designs drawn free-hand, but with designs stamped onto the fabric repetitively using a large copper or wooden stamp that has been coated in wax.

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