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Advice on buying batik fabric from Indonesia

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by josepidal, Mar 24, 2019.

  1. josepidal

    josepidal Distinguished Member

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    Has anyone ever tried buying batik fabric from Indonesia (or Singapore or Malaysia)? I'm talking about typical formal and semi-formal cotton fabric you can give to a tailor to sew a formal long sleeved traditional shirt you can wear to an Indonesian party instead of a suit. Any tips on how to source from outside Indonesia and how much prices should be?
     

  2. Sam Hober

    Sam Hober Distinguished Member Dubiously Honored

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    Josepidal,

    Good questions.

    Somewhere around $12 per yard to start and up from there depending on the quality - art vs mass production?

    Colorfast?

    So you will have to spend a few hours online shopping and researching...

    Do you want to order from a native speaker of English? Equals much easier but maybe more expensive...
     

  3. emptym

    emptym Moderator Moderator

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  4. Pramana

    Pramana New Member

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    Try instagram,
    If you want hand painted batik, a lot of the batik shops use instagram to promote their products.
    @batikconceptstore
    @garudakencanabatik

    I'm not sure about payments though, but expect north of 150 USD for a 2,5m cloth (one long sleeve shirt), for a good quality batik.
     

  5. am55

    am55 Distinguished Member

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    @Riva this is your specialty.

    I plan to commission a few pieces of tulis batik from the right artisans, however, from early research the market appears packed with tourist trapping. "Hand drawn" that is literally hand drawn (not wax on then dyed), "natural" colours that are synthetic, etc. A lot of the shops are responsive on Instagram (usually listing their Whatsapp) and Indonesian post does do international shipping...

    I'd also research the patterns and what they mean (sorry if you're already knowledgeable, it is not clear from your post). Not that it matters as much - Riva tells me the white-and-blue I thought was funeral no longer really applies - but you may want to check before wearing something around Indonesians (like those Chinese tattoos that mean something like "fried rice" instead of the requested "courageous warrior eagle").

    In any case I'll be watching this thread with interest... thanks for posting!
     

  6. Riva

    Riva Distinguished Member

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    A few questions:

    1) Instead of a shirt, why don't you make a formal batik jacket in a western CM style instead? It's the rage nowadays.

    2) As others mentioned it's relatively easy to order through IG or websites. But are you getting batik just for the sake of wearing one or to give a good impression to your buddies? Keep in mind that you're basically wrapping yourself in a cultural treasure, a painting at that, and all the implications that go with it with you being a foreigner and all.

    3) What is your budget? As you'll be doing bespoke it'd be a shame to purchase a crappy printed fabric when you can have something nicer for the same cost. And what kind of party is this? Business, casual, age group? Also give us a few examples of the patterns that you like.
     

  7. Riva

    Riva Distinguished Member

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    $12 a yard so $30 for a long sleeve shirt approx. Here it is. A genuine indigo colored painted using traditional "canting" which is the tool to handpaint batik through wax coloring though in this case I doubt it's wax but rather they just used the tool to paint indigo directly to the fabric.

    Note: Canting and Lilin (wax) being 2 keywords to look for when you want the real stuff.

    https://shopee.co.id/-READY-BATIK-T...ARNA-ALAM-MOTIF-LASEMAN-i.74765381.2058742835
     

  8. josepidal

    josepidal Distinguished Member

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    @Riva thanks, this looks more like the channels actual Indonesians would browse! Two questions.

    First, what kind of batik can be thrown in the washer and what is strictly dry clean only? Someone told me batik tulis is strictly dry clean only, so I wouldn't end up wearing that grade of shirt unless I actually needed to attend an Indonesian wedding in Indonesia.

    Second, that's a really nice sample link from Shopee Indonesia. I see it's about $35. Where is this sample in the range? I'd be interested in the more intricate patterns on dark brown that most Indonesians (and especially Indonesian politicians) wear, or those on black or navy. The kind that would easily pass in contexts where non-Indonesians would wear a suit (if tailored into a long sleeved shirt) or a dressy semi-formal (if short sleeved).
     

  9. josepidal

    josepidal Distinguished Member

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    Has anyone tried this? Don't think I'd go for this unless I really couldn't do more research. These are huge Asian countries with long traditions of craftsmanship. Wouldn't be my first choice to buy Indonesian batik, Thai phraratchathan silk and Philippine barong embroidered pineapple cloth, for example, in the same place as one wonders who the client of such a place would be.
     

  10. Riva

    Riva Distinguished Member

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    1) With this kind of fabric and dye you need to handwash separately and preferably use batik washing liquid. Over here they sell them in the supermarkets. But I've used light detergents before without any issue. Just make sure not bleach. Of course you can also dryclean.

    2) It's uncommon to see a handpainted batik replicated. They could do 3-4 more pieces but each would be unique. The same store may only carry a few pieces and the rest are the cheap printed ones with artificial coloring.

    Now you're looking for the classical brown batiks so just search using "batik brown tulis canting". Doesn't have to be in Shopee, just anywhere they offer international shipping. The tulis and canting would guarantee some degree of quality level. You may see some $5-7 ones, ignore those as even if they look ok the fabrics are as stiff as a sack.
     

  11. Riva

    Riva Distinguished Member

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    Last edited: Apr 11, 2019

  12. josepidal

    josepidal Distinguished Member

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    @Riva, here are some pics sent by a friend of what seemed nice, though I think they are high quality printed batik and not tulis. (My friend emphasized, better than Malaysian batik.) Where would these be in the range?

    Iris Batik 05.jpeg Iris Batik 05.jpeg Iris Batik 02.jpeg Iris Batik 01.jpeg
     

  13. josepidal

    josepidal Distinguished Member

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    Hey, these I really like! Is this tulis and dry clean only?

    I just bought the book on Iwan Tirta from Amazon.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2019

  14. gfmozart

    gfmozart Distinguished Member

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  15. Riva

    Riva Distinguished Member

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