“Batik” is a word that would ring a bell to any Indonesians in their home country or even to those thousand miles away from home. It is derived from the word “ambatik” which means “a cloth with little dots”. As it name suggests, Batik is a hand made piece of clothing designed using special techniques of dying. Its distinct patterns and colors have been an intricate part of Indonesia’s identity since hundreds of years. It is considered a piece of authentic art passed down from Javanese royalty.
Unlike modern techniques, Batik originally is created by “drawing” designs on to the cloth with a piece of tool called canting. Wax such as beeswax and paraffin are used to create these designs. Designing Batik is, indeed, time consuming which is why newer techniques have been developed such as using design units called cap. With , a person will only have to “punch” the designs on the cloth instead of drawing the designs with hand. With newer modern techniques, mass production of Batik has become plausible. It is now all over the world representing Indonesia.
Today, the 2nd of October, is a special day where Indonesians celebrate their Batik pride because today is the National Batik Day in Indonesia. To bring the enthusiasm from back home to America, Indonesian students at Green River College are wearing their beautiful Batik to campus. Spot them when you see those colourful patterns! ;)