July 04, 2009

Saving Our Heritage | Batik-ing @ Textille Museum

Not many know about the existence of this museum, as it is not as extravagant as the museums on Medan Merdeka Barat Street (The National Monument, National Museum) or have classic architecture as the museums located in Jakarta's Kota Tua. But still, if you have a lot of free time, and are that artsy craftsy kind of people, then the Textille Museum is a perfect place to visit.
They have a collection of textilles from across Indonesia but mostly are Batik with various styles (Cirebonan and Jogjakarta). To tell you the truth, for me, the collections of Textille Museum are a bit mediocre *or maybe I'm just not that good with textille*. Well, maybe it's because the museum is not well maintain, a bit dusty and gloomy. If only they add more collections and make it more interactive, the place will be more attractive to visit.
Anyway, my main reason to visit this museum is not only to see the collections, but to join the batik workshop. It is held everyday but Monday *as the museum itself is closed on Monday*, from 9AM to 1PM *as the museum will close at 3PM, and it took about 2 hours to get the job done*. The workshop is not like a formal class. Just come between those hours, then you will get a piece of white cloth ready to be Batik-ed. The instructors are not going to watch closely on how you are doing your work, they just give brief instructions and let you do the rest. Okay so this is a step-by-step recap on how to make Batik.

  1. Prepare a piece of cloth
  2. First pick any kind and size of cloth you want. Since it is such a sparing package workshop, I only got a 35cmx35cm white cotton fabric. In real batik making process, you could actually color the cloth first, if you want another foreground color (instead of white).

  3. Draw a pattern
  4. Next is choosing a pattern design and draw it on the cloth with pencil. This will be the guidelines when you put malam on the next step. The workshop provide a pile of designs you could chose, from classic to modern, from abstract symbols to cartoon characters. One warning from the instructor though, is not to chose a very detail design, since it will take a long time to finish *yeah..we're amateurs, we get it..* and they don't have the canting needed to produce such detail design.

  5. Apply the malam
  6. Happy with your pattern. Next step is applying the malam (wax). The point of doing this is to cover the area that will not be colored or to avoid color mixing, if you're going to use several colors. This is done by using a tool called canting. I used to watch old ladies doing this in batik shop and it seemed so easy. But actually you really need a steady hand to get a fine stroke. You have to do it perfect from point to point the first time. Don't go back and forth, or apply the malam over and over again for the same line, do it one time only and perfectly. If not, you will get wobbly designs like mine. hehe.. Oh yeah.. since it is a handwritten batik, you have to apply malam on the other side of the cloth as well (mirror way). *kinda remember what my father did to distinguish a handwritten batik from the stamping and printing kind, he checked both sides of the cloth, but don't ask me why..*

  7. Coloring
  8. Okay..so the next step is coloring. In this workshop we only got to do one color. Before we put the cloth in the coloring bucket, the man (in charge of the dyeing process) applied paraffin on the sides of the cloth, this was done to create a frame kind effect to the cloth.

  9. Remove malam
  10. Last but not least is removing the malam. In order to do this, you have to boil the cloth in water so the malam melt away from the cloth. After that hang the cloth and let it dry.
Tada!! This is us with our work of arts..

Some additional infos, this museum is located in Jl. K.S. Tubun No. 2-4, near the Tanah Abang Market, Jakarta. Had more questions about the workshop package and others? you could dial (021)5606613. By the way the workshop I took was the most economic one for IDR 35.000, including a ticket to the museum.
For more information on batik processes and designs you could visit this site. I find it very informative and thorough. sengihnampakgigi


qQ Hadikusumo said...

Hidup Batik!
Hidup Indonesia!
Hidup Medogh!
(lho, ko ngiklan? ;p)
Duh, saya jadi ingin meliput yang diJogja juga...
tunggu tanggal mainnya...haha :D

Menoedh said...

waahh...mayang thanks banget infonya..boleh juga tuh dikunjungin dan belajar buat batik.


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