Post D : Batik 101

Indonesian batik is an art form that is globally recognised, a traditional form that has been practice for centuries in Indonesia. The art of batik is decorating cloths, using wax and dying it. To create a batik, areas of cloth are blocked by using hot wax with a brush or drawing using a special tool called the canting made specifically for the batik process, it is then used over it before dying it with natural ingredients to make up the colours, repeating the process to make layers. Once done with the design and the process the cloth is boiled downs to clean the cloth of the hot wax.

While it is not known where it originated, people believe the batik art form reached its peak in of ‘artistic expression’ in Indonesia, mainly in Central Java. Javanese people have perfected the design of batik making it their own and adding to their history. Though the designs of modern batik still stem from traditional designs many contemporary design have changed to suit the style of the independent designer. Using more variety of tools and fabrics to create their works as well as artistic freedom to create their own works.

Designs of the batik vary depending on the occasion, though there are popular batik designs that can be found throughout some of the batik designs. Kawung, Ceplok and Parang are certain designs that had specific meanings to them. Kawung is an old design that can be found in many temples such as Prambanan in Yogyakarta, it suggests the meaning to represent flora such as kapok or aren. Ceplok is a geometric design that symoblises flowers, bud, animals and seeds, it is mainly used within the Muslim religion as it represents some of their beliefs. Parang was once used within the royal courts of Central Java, it indicates meanings such as ‘rugged rock, ‘knife pattern’ or ‘broken blade’. The designs found also showed of social standings, like the Parang design it was used by the royal family in Yogyakarta showing their higher rank by the designs of the batiks.

Batiks continually play a major role within the Indonesian society, during festivities like weddings or Independence Day, many Indonesians wear their batik in celebration. Batik design is highly influenced by their history and its meaning, traditional designs from batik continue to thrive in modern Indonesia with the influx of tourism in many cities.


The Batik Guild 2011, What Is Batik?, viewed on 14th February 2017,<>

Asia Art 2008, Indonesian Batik, viewed on 14th February 2017, <>

Living in Indonesia 2017, Batik, The Traditional Fabric of Indonesia, viewed on the 15th February 2017, <>

Australian Muesum 2011, Batik: The Forbidden Designs of Java, viewed on the 15th February 2017, <>


[1] [2] Living in Indonesia 2017, Batik, The Traditional Fabric of Indonesia, viewed on the 15th February 2017, <>

[3] Rachel Hansen 2017,


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