Bali Batik Fabric: A Superior Variant of the Technique from the Island of Gods

Bali Batik Fabric: A Superior Variant of the Technique from the Island of GodsAs an international tourist destination, Bali is more than just a place to enjoy the beautiful scenery, rich culture, and impressive culinary inventions. It is also home to Bali batik fabric and it is one of the few places in Indonesia where batik technique originates from. However, to be fair, the Balinese batik is a fairly new development, compared to other Indonesian batik variants. It all begun in the 70s when a guy from Batubulan Village by the name of Pande Ketut Krisna pioneered the industry in the island of Gods. The guy employed a manual weaving technique to develop what today known as Balinese batik. Since then, batik sees a huge boost in development within Bali Island as people seem to love the product and the fact that the locals mainly use batik fabrics for religious activities. During rituals, people would use batik fabric by tying it over their waist or turning it into a headpiece called udeng.

Appearance-wise, Bali batik fabric is unique and different from its brethren in that it applies patterns that combine both modern and traditional aspects in them. Javanese artisans have sort of guidelines and rules that are not to be broken when it comes to designing batik. Their Balinese counterparts, on the other hand, are not confined to these regulations so they are more flexible in incorporating various themes and motifs in their creations. The traditional aspects of Balinese batik reflect on the presence of a variety of symbols specific to the island such as deer, turtles, dragons, and herons. The modern aspects of the technique, meanwhile, appear in the form of the color choices, which tend to look brighter with waving patterns.

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Bali batik fabric also enjoys further development thanks to the fact that the island is frequently visited by tons of people every year from different places within Indonesia. As a result, combined with the artistic freedom that Bali batik makers have, Balinese batik develops some sort of hybridization in patterns and motifs. Within the local market today, it is easy to find Bali batik fabrics that employ mixed elements such as Bali-Papua batik and Bali-Pekalongan batik. Technically, Bali batik is categorized into three types. Batik lukis (painted batik) is a type of fabric made by painting patterns and motifs directly onto the cloth. Batik tulis (literally, written batik) can be made using wool, cotton, or silk with patterns and motifs made using a special tool called canting. Batik cap (stamped batik) is made by stamping the motifs onto the cloth.