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Batik Tulis – Batik Tulis Creation

21 May Posted by in Batik
Batik Tulis – Batik Tulis Creation

Asia is definitely fascinating when it comes to craft workshops in Bali. Each and every region of the continent has its own unique way of creating these artifacts. In the southeast, particularly countries such as the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia have Batik.

What is Batik Tulis?

Batik is a cloth that is made using the traditional wax-resist dyeing technique. Each of its patterns depicts the Hindu Gods particularly Brahma, Visnu and Shiva. These patterns can come from a wide range of colors nowadays due to improved technology. Brown and indigo are mostly found in batik since these colors signify these deities. This is in relation to the fact that most of the natural sources of color are in those shades.

Patterns and colors can be as simple as wavy lines to complicated patterns that are artistically mastered throughout the years. Certain patterns can only be worn by important people, aristocrats and those will royal lineage on ceremonies. Each of the colors and designs that are printed in their clothes signify their rank in society.

How is it made?

It is primarily made using Malam or Melted wax made from Paraffin or Beeswax or a mixture of both. Applying beeswax keeps the fabric sturdy while the paraffin allows crack-like patterns which are the major characteristic of the fabric. After the process is done, the waxed cloth is dipped in dye and that’s what makes the patterns. In making lines in the fabric natives use a tjanting, a wooden tool with spouted cup in which they can pour out the wax to make lines.

This cycle is repeated until the last design is completed. After that, the fabric is hung to dry and submerged in a special solvent to dissolve the wax. Or ironed between two papers to absorb it and finally revealing a vibrant-colored fabric.

Some of the locals even apply gold to their design using organic glues and with egg whites and linseed oil. What they would do is that they spray gold dust all over the patterns in the fabric and then applied with the said glue. Even if you wash the cloth several times, the gold would still remain in it.

All these steps produce what is called a Batik Tulis. This results in vibrant colors that would really depict their cultural heritage. It is a way of showing to the world the rich heritage of this region.

Learn more about Art in Bali, visit WS Art Studio.