Distinguish Indonesian Batik from Malaysian Batik

Distinguish Indonesian Batik from Malaysian Batik

The Malays are seafaring people that spread into Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula due to their trade and sailing skills. The fact that the languages of the Malay group are all still highly similar, although very different from the languages of other peoples of Sumatra, Borneo, and other neighboring areas, indicates that this spread occurred just in the last 1,500 years or so. Malays made up around half of the population of Peninsular Malaysia and roughly one-eighth of the population of East Malaysia in the early twenty-first century.


Malaysian Batik 

Although the origins of batik fabric are unknown, evidence of early batik has been found as far back as 2000 years in the Middle East, Egypt, Peru, Japan, East Turkestan, Europe, India, and China. It has reached its highest artistic expression in South East Asia, particularly in Indonesia and Malaysia. In Malaysia, while the origins of batik are unknown, the states of Kelantan and Terengganu are regarded as the birthplaces of Malaysian batik.

The sultans were primarily responsible for the expansion of batik in these two realms. They helped expand the industry by encouraging the trial of techniques in mass manufacturing.

  1. In 1957, Malaysia gained independence, it looked to batik to help build a national identity, and it eventually became the official national costume for formal occasions.
  2. By the 1990s, batik had lost its enchantment.
  3. Until 2003 that it resurfaced with newfound vigor.

Malaysia Batik has grown from a handicraft to a unique art form that has inspired people worldwide to take an active interest in it. The government and businesses have worked together to keep the country's history alive. Because of this, Batik from Malaysia has been able to keep up with modern times and adapt to new ones.

Characteristics of Malaysian Batik against Indonesian Batik

Although the origins of batik in Malaysia may be traced back to Indonesia over 100 years ago, Malaysian batik has evolved its distinctive style over the years. The following are some noticeable differences:

  • Malaysian batik artisans stand while drawing the batik on a frame. Our Indonesian counterpart sits and draws the batik without needing a frame. 
  • Malaysian batik contains large floral motifs, but Indonesian batik is intricate and religiously oriented. 
  • Malaysian batik colors are vivid, while Indonesian batik colors are dark and contain a lot of browns.


Malaysian Batik Shirt Motifs

Malaysian motifs can be found on buildings and palaces, carved on pulpits in mosques, woven into mats, etched on kris and other weapons, or embellishing ceramics, batik, and other textile forms. They are generally flowery and geometrical or a mix of the two. Motifs may be repeated, elaborated on, and distorted, fashioned into curvilinear scrolls and convolutions. 

Repeated patterns are an essential aspect of Islamic art; repetition represents continuity. There is no beginning and no end.

  • Floral motifs can be intertwined in continuous coiling spirals of leaves; they are clean and uncomplicated, exuding a classicism that modern designers emulate.
  • The Holy Qur'an is commonly used to decorate coins, ceramics, metalware, carpets, tombstones, books, and woodcarving forms.
  • Malay (woodcarving motifs) and as architectural components, notably in palaces and mosques. It is also often utilized in contemporary Malaysian art.


    Type of Malaysian Batik

    In Malaysia, two major batik types are hand–drawn and stamped:


    Hand-Drawn Malaysian Batik

    Hand-Drawn Batik is a type in which the motifs are drawn on the fabric using hot liquid wax and a metal device known as a canting.

    After the wax outlines are completed, the painters use brushes to paint the dyes within the outlines. Brushes may be used to create shaded and multi-hued graphics.

    Cotton, rayon, linen, voile, and silk are among the textiles used. These textiles are made with floral and geometrical patterns placed in various ways based on what people are doing now in fashion.

    Hand-drawn batik is often created in 4 or 2-meter lengths. There is a note that hand-drawn batik fabric in 4-meter length is used for women's apparel, and 2-meter hand-drawn batik fabric is used for men's wear.

    These outfits are frequently worn on formal occasions. Aside from garments, hand-drawn batik is also used to make scarves, pareos, crafts, and even framed paintings as gifts for your families and friends.


    Block-Printed Malaysian Batik

    Stamped or block-printed batik is another type of batik. A copper block or, occasionally, a wooden stamp with an artistically patterned bottom will be used to replace the canting.

    The wax-dipped block is printed onto the cloth, which is then dip-dyed. The wax is then removed, and a single-color batik is created in the fabric. Waxing with different blocks and dewaxing will be done several times to make multi-colors and more complicated block-printed batik.

    Cotton is a common fabric for block-printed batik, and the output amount is around 20 meters, depending on the original fabric size. For casual wear, block-printed batik is usually tailored into shirts and dresses. Block-printed batik is also used in several handicrafts and soft furnishings.

    The precise delicacy of hand-drawn batik is lost in block-printed batik, and similar shapes or patterns are repeated on a piece of cloth.

    Hand-drawn batik is often sluggish and time-consuming, but block-printed batik is speedier and more appropriate for mass manufacturing. As a result, hand-drawn batik is more costly and limited in supply than block-printed batik.


    Identifying Quality Malaysian Batik

    Malaysia Batik is an inextricably linked component of Malaysian culture. Despite its broad appeal in the country, not all batik enthusiasts know the time-consuming technique required to make this vital legacy. The time it takes to make a batik determines its worth. There are two kinds of batik: batik tulis, which means "written batik," and batik cap (stamped batik). Batik Tulis is the most expensive of the two since creating requires more time and determination.

    To recognize high-quality batik, consider the following characteristics:


    Color Schemes of Malaysian Batik 

    The traditional method of manufacturing batik uses malam (hot liquid wax), which was introduced to Java by Gujarati traders in the sixth century. Furthermore, it employs natural dye from leaves and flowers, resulting in earthy tones. The deep-brown color is known as "sogan" in the local language, which is why traditional batik is sometimes referred to as batik sogan. Commercially produced printed batik, on the other hand, uses chemical dyes, resulting in richer and more brilliant colors. The color variety is also more vibrant.


    The Reverse Side of Malaysian Batik  

    The reverse side of the cloth is the simplest way to recognize a handmade batik. Because just one side of the cloth is printed, the reverse side of a printed batik is noticeably faded. On the other hand, the color of a hand-drawn batik tulis is uniform on both sides since the cloth is submerged in a vat of dye.


    Unique Appearance of Malaysian Batik 

    Each stroke of a batik tulis is hand-drawn with a canting, giving each batik a unique look. Because batik tulis are hand-drawn, there may be stains and irregularities; the strokes may not be as accurate as those on a printed batik, but this lovely muddle makes them so valued.


    The Importance of Malaysian Batik

    What distinguishes batik from other fabrics? It is made so that it must go through the delicate and repetitive process of waxing, coloring, and boiling. Because wax acts as a color blocker throughout the coloring process, it will cover any areas of the cloth that do not wish to be stained with colors.

    The sub-processes include:

    1. Preparing the cloth
    2. Tracing the patterns
    3. Stretching the cloth on the frame
    4. Waxing the portion of the cloth that does not need dyeing
    5. Preparing the dye
    6. Dipping the cloth in the die
    7. Boiling the cloth to remove wax
    8. Waxing the cloth in soap


    Because batik will go through several processes, such as putting wax on, dying, drying, and removing the wax, a more colorful batik cloth implies that it has gone through more of the process. The procedures must occur in a specific order, and the arrangement of colors to generate the appropriate pattern of figures.


    Malaysia Batik cloth is extremely flexible since it may be used to make clothing, paintings, scarves, purses, tablecloths, bedspreads, curtains, and otherornamental objects. Traditional batik is often associated with silk or cotton.


    However, reintroducing natural dyes and techniques has broadened the reach to include unexpected materials for fashion clothes, such as chiffon, velvet, georgette, cheesecloth, and voile. Cotton and silk are the most widely used textiles for batik painting, along with poplin, voile, rayon, habotai silk, crepe de chine, jacquard, and satin.


    Instead of simply being a handicraft, batik has earned the status of an art form, a versatile medium that can be used as a hobby for a novice or as a medium of expression for an artist.


    Modern batik, rather than being limited to dresses and fitted clothing, is more vibrant and colorful in the shapes of murals, wall hangings, paintings, household linen, and scarves. In the hands of an expert, Batik may also make your home or business distinctive and appealing. 


    Malaysian Batik should always be maintained in a clean, tidy, neat, and routinely swept environment. In recent years, Westerners have developed a fascination with batik painting, which is often done in the canting method and has evolved into a highly skilled art form.


    Batik painting, like oil painting, is a one-of-a-kind work of art. Frames made of wood and rattan, wood-crafted hangers, light boxes, ornamental sheets made of Perspex or glass, and scrolls can all be used to enhance each painting.


    Malaysian Batik History

    In the 1920s, the vision and business energy of Haji Che Su of Kelantan and Haji Ali of Terengganu established the groundwork for the local manufacturing of the Batik Sarong.

    On the other hand, Javanese batik has been available in peninsular Malaysia since the early nineteenth century. This entrepreneur was also behind the early attempts to create batik-type material locally, making experimental textile designs without wax using a pattern pressed onto the cloth using wooden blocks. 

    This was popularly known as "batik pukul" (stamped cloth), but it was also known as "kain batik Kedah" due to its prominence in that state. Haji Che Su and his sons later used the stencil or silkscreen process to produce batik sarongs with motifs reproduced in the pekalongan style of Javanese batik, which is characterized by large floral bouquets with an intricate geometric background pattern, usually consisting of traditional motifs of central Java

    The business of creating and exporting this type of affordable batik, known as "batik jawa" developed with the founding of their family firm known as Samasa Batik, which still makes silk-screened batik today.This is the incentive for batik-making as a cottage business in Kelantan, one of Malaysia's states. Following that, batik production moved to the adjacent state of Terengganu, where Haji Ali established a family company to create batik sarongs.


    By the 1930s, batik producers on the Malay Peninsula's east coast began employing wax and metal blocks to create batik blocks. Initially, copper blocks were brought from Java for this purpose.

    Later, brass and tin ones were created locally. Steel cloth hacked to the Javanese batik pattern for the sarong designs' center panel featured flower bouquets and other themes such as peacocks and ducks.

    Batik manufacturing was halted during the Japanese occupation. Following the conflict, batik design evolved with the addition of local themes and patterns.


    In the 1940s, Kelantan had up to 60 batik manufacturers, with many more in Terengganu. With the formation of the Rural and Industrial Development Authority, the government increased its support for the industry.

    Various kinds of assistance were offered in the mid-1950s to grow tiny rural cottage businesses, and the establishment of Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) in the early 1960s advanced the batik enterprises even further. 

    MARA fostered the creation of new distinctly Malaysian themes and various production processes; for example, hand-printed Malaysia Batik by the yard was developed instead of the typical two-meter batik sarong.


    Later, improvements such as the "crackle effect" and the discharge method of coloring were adopted. This type of batik gained popularity because it could be turned into apparel and outfits for casual and formal usage.

    Furthermore, using materials like cotton, lawn, voile, and handcrafted batik is good for tropical climates.

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