27 July, 2009

Batik as a Craft

As part of the Special Sarawak Regatta held on 27/7/09, a handicraft demonstration and sales was held at the Kuching Waterfront. By the look of things, the main road that ran along the waterfront was closed and half of it was temporarily turned into rows and rows of tents to accommodate craftsmen and sellers of traditional crafts like pua, wood, batik, beads,basketry and many more. The Handicraft Demonstration and Sale stalls is shown as in the picture to the left ( inset). My focus was the art of batik making. The demonstration covered the proper use of batik materials like cloth ( especially in stretching it) and holding it on all sides by a working frame, different qualities of dyes ( nature-based or chemical dyes), the two hand tools (brush and tjanting) most commonly used in holding the wax ( bees wax) when applying wax over the cloth ( cotton or silk. All in all I thought the Handicraft and Sales was a success.

Examples of the finish hand-painted batik textiles on display at the show.

Drawing from a rich background of Malay and various ethnic groups patterns and designs, preferences for colours and motifs, the Malaysian batik seems to regain much popularity in part due to government insistence of wearing batik clothes to work on every Thursday of the week.

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