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Some places in Yogyakarta provide the facilities of learning batik. You can learn thoroughly the culture of making hand-made batik to batik painting and practice the making of legendary batik motifs.
Visiting Yogyakarta, you may not just buy and enjoy the marvelous batik artwork, but you have the opportunity to learn the technique of its production. The valuable opportunity packed in an interesting tour package with quite short duration and affordable cost will surely be fun.
Batik patterns you can learn involve hand-made batik, printed batik and painted batik. Each place usually has its special batik pattern to teach. For one day course, it is usually divided into two sessions; you will learn all processes of batik making that generally consist of pattern making, cloth coloring, wax dying and drying.
The process of pattern making starts when all materials, especially the cloth are ready. The making of this pattern is done with wax as the main material that is used to block color. If you want to make hand-made batik, the pattern making is done by using the wax pen called canting while printed batik is made by utilizing a prepared copper stamp with certain design.
You are free to choose the pattern you are going to make. Unique patterns you can make are, for example, ceplok, cecek sawut, and semen. You can find all of the patterns in historical buildings in Indonesia. Ceplok pattern can be found in Borobudur Temple; cecek sawut in a copper drum in Copper Time while semen pattern can be found in the tomb of Kalinyamat Queen.
The process is continued by coloring the cloth. The cloth with pattern on it is dipped into a bucket filled with coloring agent. This process seems simple, but actually it is difficult, moreover if batik must be colored more than two. Many batik artisans still use natural colors made from certain natural materials, but there are many who use synthetic coloring agents.
After coloring thoroughly, the process is continued by dying the wax, or removing the wax attaching to the cloth. Initially, prepare the boiling water mixed with soda ash and finally the cloth is dipped to remove the entire wax. If there is still wax attached, it must be cleaned after the dying process.
The final step is washing. When using natural coloring agent, the washing cannot be done by using detergent that will damage the color. After being washed, the cloth is dried under indirect sun to avoid discoloring. After this drying process, you can see the difference of batik colored with natural coloring agent; the color is usually less bright.
Batik courses in Yogyakarta provide professional instructors to make you competent even though with short course only. Some places also have instructors speaking foreign languages, especially English, to ease you understand the lesson.
One of the places providing batik course is Sanggar Kalpika in Kampung Taman, at the west of Tamansari. There, you can learn painted batik. If you prefer to learn hand-made and printed batik, Balai Batik is the right place. The institution that is located on Jalan Kusumanegara provides special staff and room for you to learn batik. The cost ranges from IDR 250,000 to IDR 1,500,000 based on the course types.
In addition to learning batik, you can also enjoy the activity and the works of batik artisans in Kampung Taman that 30 years ago has been developing painted batik. You can also see various batik styles exhibited in Balai Batik.
Text: Yunanto Wiji Utomo
Artistic: Agung Sulistiono Mabruron
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