Batik – Traditional Indonesian Textile

Batik  pic
Batik
Image: expat.or.id

An American businessman who for decades has been involved with significant direct foreign investment projects in Southeast Asia, Harvey Goldstein currently resides in Singapore. For over 30 years, Harvey Goldstein lived in Indonesia and served as president and governor of the American Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia on multiple occasions. He has extensive understanding of Indonesian culture and traditions.

A person traveling to Indonesia will quickly become aware of the popularly worn batik fabric. Part of an ancient tradition in Java, Indonesia, batik comes from the Javanese word tik which means to dot.

In making batik, hot wax is painted or stamped on the fabric. When the fabric is then dyed, the waxed portions resist the dye and retain their natural color. After repeated dying, the wax is removed, revealing various colored designs and patterns.

A versatile fabric, batik is worn in business and on everyday occasions, used in weddings, made into slings to carry babies, and also used to cover the body in funerals. Integral to Indonesian culture and tradition, batik has been placed on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

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