Discovering The Eco-Friendly Ciwaringin Batik

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Inhaling the strong scent of boiling wax, I stepped inside a house where elderly women were busy transferring the scalding substance onto fabric.

In that house in Ciwaringin, Cirebon, West Java, they were using a small, pen-like tool to fill in the previously drawn patterns.

This art of decorating cloth using wax and dye that is batik was declared a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2009.

During my short trip to Cirebon with Santika Indonesia Hotels & Resorts, I had the chance to visit Ciwaringin village, the lesser known batik village, when compared to the famed Trusmi Batik village located in the same region. Continue reading

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Learning Batik at Kampung Batik Kauman

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Thick smell of burning wax is wafting heavily in the air as I step into this old Batik Shop. A weathered wooden board is hanging sturdily in front of the shop with the name of the shop largely engraved on it, it says “Batik Tulis Gunawan Setiawan”. Located at the heart of Kampung Batik Kauman, Surakarta, the shop is one of around 30 other batik shops and entrepreneurs which have also been operating there since 19th century.

Learning how to create batik pattern art on a piece of cloth as well as getting to know more about the batik process itself is the main reason I am here on this perfect Sunday morning. A young Javanese lady greets me with a slightly smile then she directs me into another room at the back of the shop where the batik lesson is going to take place. Several small batik stoves have already been prepared there. So, I just sit there quietly on a plastic mat in front of the stove hardly can wait for the class to start. Continue reading