Get to know the tools used for batik

Tools Used For Batik – Indonesia is a country that is so rich in culture and heritage. In every region throughout the country, there are various things such as traditions, customs, traditional clothes, food, to art, which are different from one another. This is in accordance with the Indonesian nation’s motto, namely “Unity in Diversity”, or different but still one.

Of course, Sinaumed’s must feel proud of the cultural wealth that this country has, right? Since 2008 until now, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has consistently recognized the cultures that exist in Indonesia.

What is Batik?

Among a number of cultural heritages recognized by UNESCO, one of the earliest to be included in the organization’s list as well as one of the most famous is batik. This typical Indonesian cloth motif was successfully included in the UNESCO cultural heritage in 2009.

Based on the definition from the Big Indonesian Dictionary (KBBI), the word batik is described as ” pictorial cloth which is made specifically by writing or applying wax to the cloth, then processing it through a certain process “.

This cloth motif is almost always present in our daily lives, and can be found in various objects around us. This includes tablecloths for dining, curtains to cover rooms, cloth to swaddle babies, and of course the motifs on our clothes and pants.

The existence of batik is already closely attached to the Indonesian state. Based on historical records, batik itself has existed since the time of the Majapahit Kingdom, where previously, batik was only worn by nobles, high-ranking officials, and sultans in the kingdom. Now, everyone is free to wear clothes with batik motifs.

Currently, Sinaumed’s can find dozens of batik motifs according to the regional characteristics that make them. Each motif is also known to have a meaning, meaning and hope from the maker. What is clear, whatever the motive, batik is something beautiful to look at.

Tools Used For Batik

Like a number of other traditional arts in Indonesia, the process of making batik cloth requires a long time. Not only that, batik craftsmen are also required to have accuracy and perseverance when carrying out the batik process, so that the end result of the batik cloth meets expectations.

There are a number of tools used for batik. Not only tools, there are also several specific materials used to make batik cloth. Expertise in using the tools used for batik is one of the factors whether or not the batik cloth produced is good.

There are at least 6 tools used for batik, which Sinaumed’s needs to know about in the batik process. There are also 3 important ingredients commonly used in batik. The following describes the tools and materials.

1. Canting

This pipe-shaped object serves as a batik motif sculptor. The canting has its own structure, namely the hilt, nyamplung, and beak. All three have different functions.

The handle is used as a handle made of wood for batik craftsmen to carve batik motifs on cloth. A nyamplung is a container made of copper whose function is to hold wax which will cover a number of parts of the cloth so that it is not stained. While the beak is a hole to remove the candle.

2. Gawangan

Gawangan has a shape similar to a clothes hanger. Gawangan is generally made of materials such as wood, bamboo. Gawangan is also often attached with wheels to make it easier to move to various places.

Gawangan has the basic function of draping or drying cloth, generally of the mori type. By draping the cloth on the cloth, batik craftsmen can make batik more freely.

3. Frying Pan and Stove

The pans and stoves found in batik are generally of the same shape as the pans and stoves in cooking. Both have a function to melt the wax used in batik.

During the batik process, the pan and stove will be next to the batik craftsmen, so they can take the wax from the pan without having to move. Batik craftsmen also have to adjust the temperature of the pan and stove, so that the wax can melt according to the desired consistency.

4. Scales

Scales also have an important function in batik. By using a scale, batik craftsmen can weigh the use of wax and dyes needed, so they can get the right composition. Nothing more and nothing less.

The shape of these scales is also not as traditional as Sinaumed’s might think. Scales used for cooking and market scales are sufficient to measure the weight and composition of wax and dyes.

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5. Sit down

A dingklik is a small chair which is usually made of wood, rattan or plastic. Dingklik is a tool that batik craftsmen use more often to sit and make batik, rather than chairs in general.

Even though it seems trivial, it is important for batik artisans to find chairs that are comfortable and in accordance with their posture. This is so that they can make batik optimally. Moreover, they generally spend a long time sitting making batik, so that an uncomfortable chair can hinder their work.

6. Tablecloth

Cloth is also a simple object, but not to be underestimated. The cloth has a function to prevent batik craftsmen from dripping wax on their bodies, which has the potential to contaminate their clothes.

Not only that, the cloth can also protect them from hot molten wax. Usually, the cloth is placed on the batik craftsmen’s thighs, where the body part is the most frequently affected by wax droplets. It can be said, cloth is an apron for batik craftsmen.

7. Night (Candle)

To make batik motifs, you need a special wax material called malam. Tonight is usually made from ingredients such as paraffin, gondorukem made from pine tree sap, and also vegetable and animal fats.

As previously explained, wax must be melted first on a frying pan and stove before it can be used. Malam later becomes a motif on the cloth, or becomes a material to cover the surface of the cloth from batik dyes.

8. Cloth

The most common fabric used in batik is mori cloth. This cloth is white in color, and is usually made from natural fibers such as cotton, rayon, and silk. Mori cloth itself is divided into 2 types, namely mori cloth that has gone through a bleaching process , and mori cloth that has not been bleached.

Even so, now many batik craftsmen use other types of fabrics for batik. Some of them can also use imported fabrics. These fabrics are the canvas for batik artisans to carve beautiful batik motifs.

9. Dye

As with other clothes, the batik patterns produced in batik will certainly be more beautiful if colors are added. Therefore, it is important for batik craftsmen to choose the right type of dye for their batik.

Generally, they use natural clothing dyes made from plants such as turmeric for yellow, mango leaves for green, mangosteen for red, and other natural dyes according to their needs and desires.


Batik Making Process

From the tools and materials mentioned above, Sinaumed’s can conclude that the process of making batik takes a long time, and requires techniques and expertise in it. The question is, is it true that the process of making batik takes that long?

Depending on the end result of the batik cloth, the batik-making process can take from 2 weeks to 1 month. It also depends on what method is used in batik and whether or not the final result of the batik is complicated or not.

A number of batik craftsmen can even spend 2 to 3 months to make batik. Of course, the batik produced will be better, and the price will also be more expensive. Batik with high quality can reach the price of millions of rupiah.

So that we can appreciate batik made by artisans, it would be nice if we also studied the process of making batik from start to finish. Here’s an explanation.

  • The first stage is to design motifs on the cloth used for batik. This motif is usually made using a pencil, and will be used as a reference for carving with a canting.
  • After the motif is ready, the craftsmen can immediately carve the motif using wax that has been melted and placed in the nyamplung canting. In this process, the batik maker can also start covering the surface of the cloth with wax, leaving white areas for coloring.
  • The white parts will be dipped in dye, and will be sun dried and dried. Then, the batik craftsmen will carve a number of parts on the cloth again, and also cover the parts of the cloth with wax so that they are not stained.
  • Batik craftsmen will continue to open and close the night in the coloring process. The trick is to boil the part of the cloth that has been covered in wax, dry it in the sun, and then dip that part in the dye again, until the coloring process is complete.
  • The last process in making batik is nglorot, in which all parts of the cloth are boiled, so that all layers of wax are completely removed, and the motifs are clearly visible. Fabrics that have been boiled will be washed and dried in the sun before they can be worn.

From the process of making batik, Sinaumed’s can imagine the patience and perseverance of batik craftsmen when they are making batik. Doing the same thing over and over again for days, until finally being able to produce beautiful batik motifs is certainly not easy.

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Years of experience are needed before batik artisans can consistently produce high-quality batik cloth. Of course, they also have to go through a number of phases of failure until they can reach a point of success in batik.

Most Popular Batik Motifs in Indonesia

Of course, all batik motifs in Indonesia have their own uniqueness and beauty. However, it cannot be denied that there are a number of batik motifs whose names are more widely known to the Indonesian population than other motifs.

These batik motifs are popular not without reason. Some motifs are considered by people to be more beautiful than other batik motifs. The popularity of some of these motifs is also not spared from the many producers of this type of batik, as well as the ease with which people can find these batiks on the market.

Below, there will be an explanation of the 5 most popular batik motifs in Indonesia. However, it is necessary to emphasize once again to Sinaumed’s that the popularity of these motifs will not make other types of motifs inferior.

1. Parang Batik Motifs

The Parang batik motif is known for its motif which forms the letter ” S ” which are interconnected, has a meaning as a symbol of sea waves as well as a form of dexterity and survival of the Mataram Kingdom. This kingdom is known to be the first kingdom to make Parang batik motifs.

As already explained, in the past, batik could only be worn by royalty and important people. This also applies to the Parang motif, where only the King and Knights of the Mataram Kingdom are permitted to wear this batik, as a symbol of their valor and courage.

2. Mega Overcast Batik Motif

Batik, which originates from the city of Cirebon, is known for its distinctive cloud motif. History says that this cloud motif comes from the teachings of Taoism from China, which is a symbol of the world and freedom. There is also the influence of the Islamic religion, which depicts that clouds are a symbol of the outdoors.

The philosophy of the Mega Mendung motif is self-control when experiencing negative emotions, and remaining ” cool ” and wise like a cloud. The word Mega Mendung itself comes from the word ” mega ” which means ” cloud “, and ” overcast ” which means ” cool weather “.

3. Palace Batik Motifs

As the name implies, Keraton batik is a type of batik motif that developed within the Palace environment, especially in the Yogyakarta Palace and the Surakarta or Solo Palaces). Historical observers say that the Keraton motif is one of the earliest batik motifs to develop in Indonesia.

In ancient times, only noble people from the Palace were allowed to wear this motif. Members of the Palace forbade ordinary people from wearing this batik motif. Apart from that, the Keraton motif is also known to have been inspired by Hindu religious culture on the island of Java at that time.

4. Sogan Batik motifs

Derived from the city of Solo, Sogan batik is also popular among the residents of the Palace, especially the Solo Palace. Similar to Keraton batik, Sogan batik was also only allowed to be worn by Palace residents. Of course, now the general public is allowed to wear this motif.

The Sogan motif is known to have a brown color, which comes from the summer coloring, namely the soga tree trunk. This brown color can be interpreted as humility and full of humility. There is a difference between the Sogan Yogyakarta batik motif and the Solo batik motif, where the Sogan Yogyakarta motif has a darker and denser color, while the Sogan Solo motif has a brighter color.

5. Kawung Batik motifs

The Kawung batik motif also comes from Central Java, specifically the city of Yogyakarta. And like most batik originating from Yogyakarta, ordinary people are not allowed to wear this batik motif. However, people were finally allowed to wear Kawung-patterned batik clothes, after a modification of the pattern made the difference between the Kawung motif of the royal occupants and the Kawung motif of the common people.

The Kawung motif itself has a meaning and philosophy related to might and justice, according to the wearer at that time, namely members of the palace. The Kawung motif is also synonymous with life, where craftsmen at that time reminded people not to forget their origins.

That is an explanation of the various tools used for batik, as well as other explanations about batik. We hope that Sinaumed’s can study, appreciate and preserve Indonesian arts and culture.