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Advice on buying batik fabric from Indonesia

Riva

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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.
Tulis and yes dry clean or handwash with light detergent only.
 

josepidal

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More questions if you don't mind:

1. Is it right that the high quality printed batik might be up to $10/2.5-3.0 meter piece for a shirt, while it really depends for batik cap or batik tulis (and sky is the limit for tulis)? Non-boleh prices?

2. Any danger of printed batik being passed off as tulis on Shopee etc.?

3. Where do silk tulis pieces fit in? Would wearing these be automatically perceived like a tuxedo by any Indonesian, so you would not simply wear a silk tulis shirt in any occasion where a suit might be appropriate (just like you don't simply wear a tuxedo for a typical business or formal occasion)?

4. Any restrictions on ironing?

5. Any restrictions on other random things like direct sunlight when drying?

6. You don't have to dry clean batik tulis shirts if you make sure to always separate them from washer loads and remember to hand wash them. Correct?
 

Riva

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More questions if you don't mind:

1. Is it right that the high quality printed batik might be up to $10/2.5-3.0 meter piece for a shirt, while it really depends for batik cap or batik tulis (and sky is the limit for tulis)? Non-boleh prices?

2. Any danger of printed batik being passed off as tulis on Shopee etc.?

3. Where do silk tulis pieces fit in? Would wearing these be automatically perceived like a tuxedo by any Indonesian, so you would not simply wear a silk tulis shirt in any occasion where a suit might be appropriate (just like you don't simply wear a tuxedo for a typical business or formal occasion)?

4. Any restrictions on ironing?

5. Any restrictions on other random things like direct sunlight when drying?

6. You don't have to dry clean batik tulis shirts if you make sure to always separate them from washer loads and remember to hand wash them. Correct?
1. $10 is the average price for printed. With real handpainted ones it depends on the seller as you're basically buying a painting (with the haggling and all). Coincidentally the prices have increased to match actual original paintings from Indo painters as well.

2. Yes, there are lots of "tulis" batik ads in online marketplaces just because they put all the hashtags in the ad. For instance this one is embossed, not even dye printed for $2 fabric only:

https://shopee.co.id/Kain-batik-primis-halus-kain-halus-batik-halus-batik-cap-batik-tulis-kain-primis-super-halus-i.44048044.1398352881

So you do need to read and take a look at the pics carefully then differentiate between the genuine and not which may require a bit of prior knowledge. If you ever go to a batik expo, you'll see all these $7 real wax tulis fabrics but the patterns are so blurry and the cotton so stiff. I used to buy them by the bulk just to make disposable bespoke short sleeves but they're practically unwearable. On the other hand, if it's claimed as a lilin (wax) tulis and the patterns are detailed / sharp but the price is too low (below $50) then I'd be suspicious as well.

3. It's only formal if it's 100% silk long sleeved. But since this is SF I thought people may be more interested in having a jacket made with the batik perhaps only on the lapels. Yes just wearing a silk batik shirt would be acceptable for formal events but not unique enough for me personally.

4. Low setting and under another piece of cloth. Tulis is more sensitive.

5. I'd air dry tulis but with cotton shirts I laundry them like any other shirts and even hang under the sunlight. Cotton ones are rarely tulis so they use artificial coloring anyway like normal shirts.

6. Correct. Just hand wash in a bucket and use a very mild liquid detergent. It's like treating silk scarves.

We haven't even touched the subject of the silk handweaving and how the patterns would compliment or ruin the painting. Or regional fabrics like the pineapple or jackfruit fibers which have different feels and preferences similar to cotton vs linen.
 

Kamaludin

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I will briefly overview about batik in Indonesia as most of you probably have not really understand about this traditional indonesian clothing.

There are many forms of batik but generally are divided into two mainstream namely traditional and modern batik

Traditional batik usually still follow javanese norms and traditions . Thus, the every painting normally have a very deep philosophy behind them and Oftenly uses cleaver , birds , javanese dragons and rice corps as a media to express the meaning

In Contrast, the modern batiks are the mixture between the indonesian javanese culture with foreign influences. Therefore we may find chinese,Indian and even european elements of the Batik. The modern batik are oftenly perceived more appealing among the youngsters because they are freely depended on the artisans imagination with more variations in term of its model and colour such as they may use Prada-highly exposed gold colour to make it bolder and very attractive cloth

In term of quality there are mainly three elements to be considered.
First , is the creation. Whether they are painted by hand or printed. Surely handpainted commands much higher value just like cemented and handwelted shoes.

Another element , only in handpainting batik, to be considered is complexity in creation of the painting and its details like canting-dots(the smaller the dots of the batik then the more expensive it is). Highly complex details with premium fabrics may take years to make and making the price of this batik ranging from U$150-tenth thousand of dollars

Finally is the fabric. Fabrics for batik can be divided into :
Cottons- kereta kencana cotton is the most expensive and for regular cotton, it will use primisima cotton
Silk- the atbm baron or wooven silk with various thickness in which the thicker is considered the more premium silk material.
Polyester- least expensive material and used mostly for printed batik.

There a lot more to be explored but for beginner and With my limited knowledge of batiks I believe those above may answers some of our traditional indonesian cloth.

Thanks
 

rominesofri

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If you need assistance about Indonesian Batik Fabric you can contact at here:

they will assist you about all information needed
 

josepidal

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@Riva , is Iwan Tirta still of the same quality? Or is the quality the same from other good stores and just see who has the design you like?

Also, what exactly is the difference between silk and cotton? I guess the designs on silk will be sharper and more detailed but silk is less wearable daily (at least in Indonesia and the tropics)?
 

josepidal

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If you need assistance about Indonesian Batik Fabric you can contact at here:

they will assist you about all information needed
Why not just contact Indonesia batik merchants directly? Many have some kind of catalog, speak basic English and ship to other provinces and overseas?
 

brax

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I saw some really good batik in Java (primarily in Yogyakarta and Malang) but I could not pull the trigger. I usually hate cultural appropriation babble but I would feel self-conscious wearing it. But see zero problem for those who can pull it off. I had no trouble, however, buying indigo shirting and jacketing. This cotton and linen was hand-spun, then naturally dyed and hand loomed on 90ish cm looms. I expect it to fade very nicely as shirts and shirt-jackets (maybe safari-style). The rust will be used as upholstery.
0EDA3875-AA5E-4E38-B4AA-BDE7AB5107EB.jpeg
 

josepidal

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Is there a point where real hand drawn batik is too fine to be used as clothing and should only be hung on a wall?
 

josepidal

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I saw some really good batik in Java (primarily in Yogyakarta and Malang) but I could not pull the trigger. I usually hate cultural appropriation babble but I would feel self-conscious wearing it.
Heh, Nelson Mandela famously wore batik when he was president of South Africa. Indonesians loved it.
 

comrade

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Caveat: Check the package to make sure it does not include one of these:
1323746
 

brax

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Heh, Nelson Mandela famously wore batik when he was president of South Africa. Indonesians loved it.
That’s why I limited my response to just my wearing it. As I mentioned, I have zero problem if others want to do so.
 

josepidal

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For silk batik shirts, it is standard to put suit lining material under the shirt, ideally bemberg or viscose. Do people do this for cotton batik shirts, especially the thinner cotton ones?
 

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