Making Batik!

We woke up to mountains of delicious foods, which Icha’s (my friend/flatmate) mother had prepared.  Indonesian breakfast is nothing like the American cereal or sausage and eggs option. There is of course rice and on this occasion we had two types of fish, tempeh (my favorite, a type of fried soybean cake, which is extremely delicious with hot chili oil!) and a few other dishes. It was very filling, so we were ready to set out and find the Textile Museum. We took the train into Jakarta from a suburb and arrived at the museum planning to simply explore the collection. However, at the entrance we found out that the museum offered a Batik workshop! Batik is technique used to decorate fabric in many countries of southeast Asia, but it is especially well-known in Indonesia. This technique is a wax-resist dyeing.  One either uses a canting (the wooden tool with a small metal bell-form reservoir and spout pictured below) to draw on the cloth or a stamp can be used to create the patterns. This practice is rightly on the UNESCO list as a ‘Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity’.

Needless to say, I adored this class! The three of us each made a small square using the canting technique.  We first picked a motif and then used a light table to trace our designs in pencil on the cotton cloth. We sat around a can with a heated pool of wax and continuously filled and refilled our canting tools to trace our drawings.  When we finished with the wax, a staff member helped us to dye and set our cloths. The wax was then removed: where the wax was once drawn on, the fabric remained white, and where the cloth was left untouched, it was now a deep blue shape.

SONY DSC
the train platform on the way to the museum
SONY DSC
no durians allowed on the train (far right block)! The king of fruits gives off a very strong odor.
SONY DSC
a fruit stand on the way to the museum
SONY DSC
The batik workshop space
SONY DSC
first step: drawing on the design
SONY DSC
staff helping us to sett up our cloths to apply the wax
SONY DSC
our wax station
SONY DSC
Icha drawing her design with wax
SONY DSC
refilling the canting
SONY DSC
a staff member preparing our cloths for dyeing
SONY DSC
a staff member preparing our cloths for dyeing
SONY DSC
a staff member dyeing our clothes
SONY DSC
our finished batik squares in front of the workshop center
20150809-12
this is my finished batik square…not as nice as the museum pieces 🙂
SONY DSC
a museum batik detail
SONY DSC
a museum batik detail
SONY DSC
a museum batik detail
SONY DSC
a museum ikat detail
SONY DSC
a museum embroidery detail
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s