Malaysian and Indonesian Batik: The Best Practices


Malaysian artisans continue to produce crafts and visual art based on a well-tried formula: an inherited framework determined by tradition. However, new ideas and expressions are constantly being developed—with the only real limit being the imagination of the artist/craftsman. Batik sits uniquely in Indonesian culture as it has been declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as its cultural heritage and has been awarded ‘Best Practice’ in its education and production of batik (Kepres, 2009). Indonesia also celebrates its National Batik Day on October 2nd every year. The word batik in Malaysia generally describes the process of decorating cloth using the block printing (cap) or hand-drawn (canting) techniques, or a combination of both. The method of dyeing and coloring varies with the use of materials of various textures, such as cotton, silk, rayon and organza. It may also be identified by the range of traditional designs and motifs used. Batik has become a symbol of national pride and a form of attire for all races. Batik is ingrained in Malaysian culture. Indonesia is aggressive in its efforts in promoting batik as a national identity. The love for batik is instilled through batik-related subjects offered at primary and secondary school levels. In Malaysia, education about batik is introduced at the secondary level.

Keywords: Malaysian and Indonesian batik, best practices

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