What is Batik? If you’ve traveled around South East Asia, chances are you have seen it in souvenir or clothing shops.
Batik refers to a technique of wax-resist dyeing cloth to make beautiful, often intricate patterns and figures. Although several cultures around the world are known for it, few are as popular as Indonesia (Javanese batik, in particular, is famed for its beauty and craftsmanship).
Meanwhile in neighbouring Malaysia, batik has been recorded in history as early as the 17th century. It has evolved into its own, distinct art form, making waves in the international fashion/fabric industry.
The Piala Seri Endon is a nationwide Batik contest for aspiring batik designers and blooming talents. It was initiated by the late Tun Endon Mahmood, wife of a former Malaysian prime minister. This marks the 13th year since its inception, but the entries keep coming.
At the press conference to launch PSE, I got to see last year’s winning entries from three different categories: Clothing, soft furnishing (curtains, pillow cases, sofa covers, etc) and handicrafts (toys, book covers, wallets, etc). Here are some examples of the work!
Batik predominantly features patterns and flowers, but it can be applied to anything (animal images like zebras, for instance) as long as the wax-dye technique is used.
Winner of last year’s Soft Furnishing category. Now that would be something I’d like in my living room!
Fashion category winners.
Sequins on flowy batik material. This is so commercially viable, I can see Datins ordering it for their functions and stuff.
I went gaga over the Handicraft winners. I mean, who wouldn’t want a kewl notebook like the one at the bottom to tote around and show off to your friends?
Think you have what it takes to be Malaysia’s top Batik designer? If you’re Malaysian and over 18 years old, you too can try out for the title and prize money (a cool RM30,000!). Download the form at penyayang.org.my!