History

What is batik?

Unweaving the fabric of an identity

by Dewi Fitzpatrick

What do Malaysia Airlines, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and an Indonesian public school teacher all have in common? While this may feel like the beginning of a bad joke, it can be answered in one word: batik.

What does the word “batik” mean?
How is batik made?

A canting is dipped into hot wax and held like a pen. By tilting the tool, the artist can control the flow of the wax out of the tip. Image: British Museum.

A cap or metal stamp with a pre-fabricated pattern is used to create repetitive patterns on fabric using hot wax. Photo by Agto Nugroho on Unsplash.

Types of batik

A boy wearing a primary state-school uniform which incorporates batik. Photo by Janis A. on Unsplash.

Why is batik important?
Disclaimer: Our stories have been researched and fact-checked to the best of our abilities. Should you spot mistakes, inaccuracies, or have queries about our sources, please drop us an e-mail at hello@kontinentalist.com
Dewi Fitzpatrick / Business Development Executive

Dewi previously looked after business development and marketing for Kontinentalist. She is a gypsy and calls many places home. In her free time she loves to have a good cup of tea and read, spend time with loved ones, and cuddle with her dogs.

Credits
Code / Rifqi Ruhyattamam
Design / Joceline Kuswanto
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