The History of Indonesian Batik as National Fashion and Dress Mode

The History of Indonesian Batik as National Fashion and Dress Mode

Dzargon Photo. Batik is a Indonesia local wisdom of fashion and mode which mainly focus on pattern on fabric and cloth. Batik is not only talking about the pattern but also all of the techniques, technology and cultures are included by UNESCO as Indonesia legacy for Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity since 2 October 2009.

Batik (N) came from Traditional Jawa Language that means “tik”, titik or dot. It transform to be Batik (V) by java pronunciation of doing or making batik, (mbatik) since batik is activity to make a pattern by making a lot of dots on the fabric and cloth. The pattern made bay traditional ink which is known as “malam”. It is a hot print ink and drawing by traditional tool which is called as “Canting”.

PAtern themes The History of Indonesian Batik as National Fashion and Dress Mode
Indonesian BAtik Pattern of Leaves and Flower

The History of Batik

Batik, simply explain as a patterned fabrics, is consist of traditional pattern and ink. The hot print techniques and ink, Malam, was found in Egypt in 4 BC. It was patterned the mummy clothes on its clothes pattern. Malam also was found in Central Asia especially in china in 618-907 AD. Historians believes that Malam was widely used in Dynasty T’ang, India and Japan in of age of Nara. A Similar techniques also was found in African country such as Nigeria in Soninke clans and Senegal in Wolof Clans. In Indonesia, Batik was discovered in age of Majapahit Kingdom and became more popular in 18 and 19 century. At that time, all of Batik was written by hand (handmade) and in early 20 century, Batik Craftsmen began to make stamped Batik. Nowadays, Modernizations also fluent to Batik producing. We are able to find printed Batik widely but Written Batik still more popular and also more expensive than printed and stamped Batik. 

Eventhough Batik comes from Jawa language, Jawa were not introduced by G.P Rouffaer as the origin of Batik. He believed the origin of Batik coming from India and Sri Lanka in the 6 Century. In contrast, J.L.A Brandes, a Dutch Archeologist, and F.A. Sutjipto, an Indonesian Historian, believe that Batik Origins were coming from Toraja, Halmahera, Papua and Flores. As a note, all of those clans did not influent by India Hindustan but they have their own believes which known as Kuna.

G.P. Rouffaer reported that Gringsing Pattern, One of popular Batik Pattern, have been discovered in Kediri, East Jawa in the 12 Century. He assumed that Gringsing pattern only made by Canting and then he concluded that Canting invented by Jawanese at that time. Pattern form on that Batik looks like a Fabric which used by a Buddhism Statue of Wisdom, Prajnaparamita. This pattern are formed by a natural form such as leaves and flowers of plant which still exist today in modern age of Indonesia Batik. It estrange the theory of the beginning of Canting was invented older than 12 Century.

The History of Indonesian Batik as National Fashion and Dress Mode canting
Traditional Batik Invention, Canting

A 17 century Malaya Legend, Sulalatus Salatin talked about Laksamana Hang Nadim whom was ordered by Sultan Mahmud to go to India in mission of collecting 140 sheets of fabrics with 40 flowers pattern for each sheet. Finding any trouble and barrier to collect them, Laksamana Hang Nadim prefers to made them by himself and bring the home but his ship shank and only able to brought 4 sheet of them. It made Sultan disappointed. Some of history Expert believe that Flower pattern refers to Batik.

In the Literature of European, The first batik technique was discussed in the Book of History of Java which was printed in London, 1817. History of Java was written by Sir Thomas Stamford who was order Java as a Governor in age of Napoleon talked about Batik in several chapter if his book. In other case, Van Rijckevorsel, Dutch, gave the Ethnic Museum in Rotterdam an Indonesian Batik in 1873. By this age, Batik comes to their golden age and famous in Europe. A show on Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1990 made all of artist and European people proud of Indonesia Batik.

The History of Indonesian Batik as National Fashion and Dress Mode Ancient art

After the age of Industrialization and globalization, Manufacturing introduce a simple and automatically Batik Producing by machine and stamp. Batik Produce faster but canting Batik is classics which known as steer Batik remain have its place. At the same time, Indonesian Immigrant brought Batik to Malaysia. Nowadays, Batik are Widely popular not only in Jawa but also in Entire of Indoensia. Batik Fashion grown to be Modern Fashion trending and Indonesian dress code.

Batik Culture

Batik is an Indonesian Traditional Culture which has high artistic value and a part of Indonesian origin Culture. In the past, Jawa Women made Batik as a job which was need an extra detail performance and skilled, so it was hard to find a man with Batik Skills before Stamped Batik method discovered. It also represent the culture of Indonesia man that they are working in hardside such as farming or fishing. The exclusife of women in Batik world are reduced after Stamped Batik Method given a chance to man make a Batik. Stamped Batik also allow to produce in high speed but less artistic value because of common pattern which came from stamp.