Originally from Indonesia, batik is an ancient textile art that involves dyeing cloth with a wax-resist technique. It also refers to the textile itself, which often features beautiful patterns and motifs which differ from region to region.
Malaysian batik is markedly different from its Indonesian counterpart; with larger, simpler patterns and a preference for floral motifs as opposed to the Javanese love for geometry. Malaysian batik is also brighter and more vibrant in colour than the deep, earthy hues of Javanese batik.
N and I were wandering around Fahrenheit 88 when we stumbled across a shop called Batik Canting, which sells batik clothing, souvenirs, paintings and other paraphernalia. They also had DIY batik for just RM10 – where you can paint your own batik and bring it home. Thinking it would be much more fun than just window shopping, we signed up for the session. By session I mean it was just the two of us at a small table in the corner.
Choices were limited (we weren’t expecting much since it was only RM10). N ended up picking a flower, while I went with my favourite – cats. The materials were provided: painting palette, brushes, and dyes in the three primary colours.
For professionals and hobbyists, I think you can also buy (?) the dyes at the shop.
Now, I think I’m a decent artist – I used to draw manga to sell in high school (and yes, people actually bought them, lol). But when it comes to colour, I am terrible. Many a time have I created a nice portrait/drawing and what not and completely ruined it after attempting to add colour. This was evident when I tried to mix the primary dyes to create certain shades – everything turned out blue or red, lmfao.
N, however, exhibited a talent for shading and colouring. His flower boasted a vibrant violet and pink hue which was not by luck but careful mixing.
Topping it off with a teal background. Notice the ‘shading’ in the petals?
And voila. Mine looks like it was done by a 6-year-old. But hey, we had fun.
PS: I showed these to my mom asking her to guess who did which. She immediately knew the cat one was mine. Why? “You suck at colouring.” Mom knows best.
2nd floor, Fahrenheit 88, 179, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur