Friday, October 10, 2014

Handwritten Batik on Madura Island - PhotoHunt

Cottage industry on Madura Island : Batik making 

Photohunt theme : Spots/Industry

On a trip to Surabaya (Indonesia) with my friends, our Indonesian hosts brought us on a day trip to Madura Island. Before we returned to the city in the evening, we visited a family who runs a successful cottage industry.

Drawing with a canting

The owner asked two of their batik craftswomen to wait for us so we could see Madura’s traditional type of batik being produced on the spot. Batik tulis (written batik) is drawn using only the canting (a a spouted tool).

The wax-resist dyeing is manually applied to a white cloth. Batik is made either by drawing dots and lines of the resist with the canting.

hot wax - usually made from a mixture of paraffin or bees wax

The skilful craftswomen were amazingly good with their hands and eyes. They were so fast and meticulous. Beautiful motifs appeared on the white cloth as their creative juices flowed. As it is handwritten batik, the motifs were never the same.


The owner then led us to a small room where she revealed her valuable stock of hand painted batik. Some pieces were really exquisite. Each piece of fabric takes about 2 - 3 months to complete. The more elaborate ones would take a year or more.

Several of my Singapore friends made purchases, that put me on the spot.  The batik were expensive. The owner doesn't accept credit cards. I could only watched enviously as I did not carry enough cash with me.  :)


  1. Hi ECL, thanks for sharing your exciting trip. Those handwritten batik are very expensive but it's beautiful and unique. Great posting.

    Have a nice weekend,regards.

  2. That's very cool.

  3. Hi Ecl, that does look like meticulous work. I really like handmade products and these are very creative and beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

  4. Amazing that they were made 'on the spot'!
    Happy PhotoHunting ;-)

  5. I adore batik. How cool that you got to see it made. I feel for you for not having enough money to buy some. Seems like that's always the way.

  6. Not being crafty at all I can only gaze in awe at these talented women and their beautiful work. Lovely.

    In your comment on my blog, you said you were surprised that the mushrooms grew so well in Alaska. I always thought of it as cold too, but surprisingly, they actually grow amazing flowers and vegetables during their short summer season because they have so much light in the summer (nearly 24 hours of it at the Equinox). I will have some flower pictures later in the week -- they have great soil up there too.