Batik Java Clothing

Ethically we need clothing to cover our body. Even though that there are small portion of people in the world still considered as naked. But, most of us are wearing clothing. And, there are various modes of clothing in the world. There is a probe says that we are what we wear. Or, our clothing reflects our culture. That is what happened in Javanese culture. There is a batik pattern in Javanese clothing. Some people say batik is as Java clothing. Actually, batik is verb to draw a certain pattern in plain fabric (usually white fabric). Then we tailor the fabric to make a clothing. But, because the batik pattern becomes our clothing, and originally for Javanese people, then we can say batik as Javanese clothing.

History of Batik as Java clothing

Batik has a long story in Indonesia. Batik started to exist from Majapahit kingdom in about 12th century. Moreover, people started to know batik from Mataram as an Islamic kingdom in Java island. The sultanate from Mataram kingdom used batik to widespread Islam religion, because batik pattern in their clothing conveyed special meaning/ philosophy.

Historically, only the sultanate from the kingdom family worn batik. It was a special clothing, because it was not easy on pricey to make batik. It took several months to create a piece of batik cloth. And, only certain people could make it, because it needed a certain ritual.

What is Batik

Drawing a batik as Java traditional clothing
The process of drawing a piece of batik cloth

mBatik is a verb of drawing a special pattern on a piece of plain fabric using special wax. We use malam as the wax to draw a batik pattern. The price of a batik cloth depends of the technique and the fabric type. There are three types of mbatik, which are hand drawing, stamp, print. The hand drown batik is the most pricey because it is manually made. The stamped batik is halfly manual because we just need to ‘stamp’ the cloth. While, the printed batik is the cheapest one, because it is factory made.

Meanwhile, for the type of fabric, there are four kinds of fabric as the basis for drawing a batik pattern. Those are the primissima, prima, blue blaco, and grey blaco. Primissima is the special and pricey one because it is a silk and very soft. And grey blaco is the cheapest. The highest quality of a piece of silk hand drawn batik could price as millions Indonesian rupiah, could be 6 – 10 million (USD 400 – 700). But, for ordinary batik clothing, we can easily find in a batik shop in Yogya or Solo with Rp 100,000 – 300,000 (USD 7 – 25) which is depends on its quality. There is a very famous batik spot in Solo, namely Kampung Batik Laweyan. Or, you can go to Pasar Batik Setono in Pekalongan, Central Java to shop batik clothing.

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