Batik is highly refined Javanese art of decorating cloth. More than just an adornment, batik embodies the soul and mysticism of the Javanese. Batik can be traditionally hand-drawn (batik tulis) using a canting (copper wax pen) or stamped using finely shaped copper blocks (batik cap). Batik tulis is generally more highly-praised as it requires more time, concentration and skill to produce. A single hand-painted batik cloth may take up to 2-3 months to complete. Stamped batiks are a more modern invention and require less time to produce. Traditional motifs include kawung, ceplok, and parang.

The styles of batik vary according to the region, each having an unique set of motifs, color preferences and symbolism. Coastal Batik show influences of foreign cultures. They are brighter and more colorful, dominated by yellows, mauves, ochre, greens and pale blue. Batik Pekalongan is characterized by its Dutch-influenced flower (buketan) motifs, while Cirebon has its signature mega mendung or stylized cloud motif of Chinese influence. Court Batik comes primarily from Solo and Yogyakarta and is colored using dyes of earthy tones. In batik design, the color blue traditionally symbolizes the earth; brown symbolized fire, and white for water and air.

Batik is highly versatile, used in both formal and informal occasions, by people from all walks of life.

Source                  : “The Ultimate Destination of INDONESIA”
Copyright            : Indonesia Culture and Tourism Ministry (2011)
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