Batik is a technique of wax-resist dyeing applied to a cloth. The word “batik” derives from javanese words “amba” (means to write), and “tik” (means dot/ period). Some also said that it comes from the word “titik” (dot) with a prefix “mba” (in Javanese, prefix mba changes a noun to a verb) so it can also be translated as “a dot-making activity”. Why dot? Because every lines and patterns in Batik that use canting to made always started from a single dot.
A traditional batik cloth was made from natural resourcs. The wax was a mixture from beeswax and extracts from plant roots. The basic plain cloth used for batik is called mori cloth, made 100% from a natural cotton because synthetic fibers can’t absorb the wax.
Due to its delicate materials, batik needs a little extra care when it comes to laundering time. Dian from Kemala Home Living share some tips on how to take care of your batik. A better option is to hand-wash the batik rather than using washing machine. Rinse it with natural lerak soap (laundry soap made from lerak fruit) and warm water. Avoid wringing or twisting the Batik to squezze out the water. Do not use chlorine bleach, softerner, strong detergents or brighteners because it can ruin the colors or patterns. To dry your batik cloth, wrap it around with a fluffy towel to absorb the excess water, then hang to dry in a shady area. Avoid direct sunlight in order to prevent fading.
If you want to iron the fabric, spray a little water onto it, put a layer of cotton over the batik, then set the iron to warm temperature setting. Don’t use high temperature setting for it could damage the fabric or make the colors fade out.
Store your batik collection in a shady and dry area. Moth is one of the largest enemy of Batik. You can put moth ball on your closet. Or choose a more natural way to protect your Batik against moth by wrapping a bunch of peppercorns with a cheesecloth or thin drop cloth, then hang it in your closet.
*Kemala Home Living is a home decor brand with a traditional chic style. Their indonesian-made products often combined traditional materials like batik, tenun or teak, with modern design. Products pictured above are Kemala Home Living’s cushion cover & table runner in Midnight Breeze series.