Thursday, May 28, 2015


One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art.
~Oscar Wilde

UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) named Indonesian batik to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

UNESCO: "The techniques, symbolism and culture surrounding hand-dyed cotton and silk garments known as Indonesian Batik permeate the lives of Indonesians from beginning to end: infants are carried in batik slings decorated with symbols designed to bring the child luck, and the dead are shrouded in funerary batik...Batik is dyed by proud craftspeople who draw designs on fabric using dots and lines of hot wax, which resists vegetable and other dyes and therefore allows the artisan to colour selectively by soaking the cloth in one colour, removing the wax with boiling water and repeating if multiple colours are desired."

The top video is about 7 minutes; the second one is half as long. Watch whichever you have time for! :-)

Formal Batik Sarong worn by guard with sword at Sultan's Palace, Yogyakarta
photo by Ian Alexander

Sri Lankan Batik
photo by Amila Tennakoon
Over the past several decades the Indonesian art of batik making has become firmly established in Sri Lanka. Indeed, it is now the most visible of the island’s crafts.

Sri Lankan Batik
photo by Amila Tennakoon

Rayela Pillow, Thai batiked indigo hemp with ostrich egg shell discs
photo by Rachel Biel

Indonesia, Java, Semarang, Kudus, and Demak, circa 1880

Roketsuzome (Japanese style batik) printing wheels at Roketsuzome Yamamoto, Kyoto, Japan

Traditional Arts - Batik
photo by Steel Wool

WikiHow: Three Ways to Batik

1 comment:

Pop said...

Absolutely beautiful. The first video should definitely be the one you watch if you only watch one. Seeing the process should not be missed. The second video shows some magnificent batik examples.

Really nice to know that the art of batik has spread to other countries...and that some still practice the hand-wax style. Incredible patience and precision.

The Sri Lankan Bird of Paradise (?) is stunning.