Batik Fabric – Indonesia and Malaysia

Batik fabric is cloth which normally uses the wax-resist dyeing technique to produce such patterns. However, due to advances in the field of printing, many products are put into the category of batik even though they were not made with traditional methods.

The popular and well regarded Javanese Batik has designs that are based on the the culture and religion of the area. The three main colors that are used in such prints are usually dark brown, white and Indigo. This is because in the old days, natural dyes were usually only found in these colors. The patterns on the Batik also denote the rank and social standing of the individual.

The patterns from Java usually differ from any other area in Indonesia itself or other parts of the world. This is because the motifs and patterns present on the fabric is usually a reflection of the specific areas culture and religion. In northern Java for example, batik fabric is usually brightly colored as they draw on the cultures from a variety of background which include, Chinese, Dutch, Arabic and Javanese.

The finest batik fabrics can run into the thousands of dollars. Price usually depends on the design, complexity, fabric and the type of dyes used during production. Expensive examples also usually reflect the length of time that was needed to produce such pieces.

Traditionally, batik was sold in Malaysia and Indonesia to be used as sarongs or traditional dresses. Since they usually come in simple cloth form, they can be used to create a wide variety of products which include batik sarongs, the batik scarf and dresses and shirts.

While there has been some disagreement over which country in South East Asia first incorporated batik into their culture, it is generally agreed that the best products usually hail from Indonesia. While not far behind, Malaysian batik has never been as intricately designed as some of the Indonesian examples.