Batik Indonesia World Heritageabbasource
There is nowhere in the world where the art of batik has been developed to the highest standards as in the island of Java in Indonesia. It is not known when the batik was first made but the traditional skills were particularly developed over hundreds of years in Central Java around Yogyakarta and Solo under the patronage of the Sultan and his court.
All the raw materials for the process are readily available – cotton and beeswax and many plants from which the dyes are made. Batik is a technique of wax-resist dyeing applied to whole cloth, or cloth made using this technique, through the efforts of Indonesian fashion designers to innovate batik by incorporating new colours, fabrics, and patterns since then batik has become a fashion item for many Indonesians.
Different kinds and qualities of wax are used in batik. Common waxes used for batik consist of a mixture of beeswax, used for its malleability, and paraffin, used for its friability.
Batik is one of the most highly developed art forms of Indonesia’s rich cultural heritage. Designs were copies and in some cases the cloths could only be used by certain people or on certain occasions.
In 2009, UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) recognised Indonesian batik as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Since then, the country celebrates the National Batik Day (also known as Hari Batik Nasional) annually on October 2. On this day, Indonesians would wear batik in honour of this ancient tradition.
Besides being a symbolic icon to Indonesians, batik is also an important source of income for the local communities. Approximately 37 percent of Indonesia’s total batik export is shipped to the US – the largest importer of Indonesian batik – followed by South Korea, Japan, Germany, Great Britain and the Netherlands.
The value of total batik exports has grown to 340 million dollars in 2016. In the next five years, which mean in 2021 the batik industry is expected to see a 300 percent growth – or 1.5 billion dollars – in the total value of batik exports. According to data obtained from the Indonesian Ministry of Industry, there are about 50,000 batik-producing companies all over Indonesia while 101 of them are SMEs (small and medium enterprises).