I went to Museum Tekstil Jakarta, at October 16, 2011. This was not my first time to this museum and making batik. I was planned to work on a piece of 30×30 cm clothes to make my own batik. So, I am gonna share about the steps of making batik, on a very details one by one.
First, Sketch your own pattern using pencils. So, this very first step needs the clothes (whether mori, cotton, silk, etc) and pencil. You may draw anything you want on the clothes, then it would come to be your batik pattern at last.
Second, Wax the unwanted part of the pattern to be colored. Using canting, you wax the pattern which was not wanted to be colored. The name of the wax is malam. So, if you were waxed the line of the pattern, it means that you are gonna colored the rest of the clothes with the color you chose. Be really careful on this step, you are gonna face the true step of making batik. Your patience and concentration is being tested on this step. The wax you were used with canting will layered your pattern regarding on your hand movement. Hold your canting in a proper direction, the middle of up-down position (45 degrees). If it was too down, your malam will poured too thick, while if it’s too up, the wax won’t contained. Keep the interval of refill the canting with a-well-temperature of malam to be used. Not too cold, it will cause frozen wax and impossible to layered the pattern, also not too hot, because it will spread over your pattern too much. Make sure, you already layered all part of the pattern, side by side.
Third, it was actually uncommon step, just for decoration, not compulsory, Paraffin waxed another part to be layered. This step is considered to be done for the effect you would see at the end of the steps.
If you are gonna color your batik using chemical, follow this step. If others, I am gonna tell you next time. 😉 Fourth, soak your clothes on naphtol, the chemical used to bind the color at the next step. Without using naphtol, the coloring chemical won’t last long on your clothes. Rinse with water after soaking in the naphtol.
Fifth, soak in coloring chemical. You may soak your clothes in the color you chose. If you are gonna color another part of the pattern using another color, you may repeat the second step until this last step to the other part. The more you want your batik to be colored, the longer steps you will have to get your batik to be finished.
Last, let it dry.
It takes your time, energy, focus and concentration, and patience. Just imagine, the repeated steps require most of your self to be in the process. Not just your hand, but all of your attention.
After doing all of the steps making batik, you will consider batik tulis as one of the hardest technique of making batik, instead of stamps or even prints. Many consider printed batik was not batik, because batik itself is the process using canting or copper stamps and malam wax. Printed batik most considered as clothes with batik pattern, not batik clothes.
You may start to think about the difficult making batik. Start to respect the artist who made batik, not even to think to bargain the price of batik tulis, as you already knew how difficult the step was. Start to love the culture of your country. Start to include yourself on loving your batik.