Batik art divulges throughout India, China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Europe. Batik first appears in costumes of the aristocrats and royalty but today’s it has become synonym for the common people (Solyom, Solyom, 1984). In Malaysia is not easy to trace the origin of Batik production. However, Javanese has been acknowledged to influence Malaysian batik making techniques and the development of batik designs (Ruslan, 2006). In among Malaysian culture, Batik is considered one of the valued heritages. Batik is also one of the most decorated textile form South East Asia in the world. It has become common attire in Malaysia and is worn by both men and women. Now, batik textile not only confined to the Malays but equally flavored with Chinese, Indian and also the Natives (Ruslan, 2006).
In Malaysia Batik has its own identity since there is multi-cultural and ethnic diversity. It has wide artistic perspectives and many talented people who do the activity in the fashion industry. The Malaysian government is now approving Malaysian Batik as a national dress to every level of the general population, by having local designers to create new Batik designs which reflect the 1Malaysia idea. Batik is a very old form of art. The term “Batik” is an Indonesian-Malay word. Evidence of early batik has been found all over the Middle East, as well as India and Central Asia many years ago (Tucker.S, 1999). The Malaysian Batik design is very much driven by religious tendency and the market. In Malaysia, Islam the main religion of the Malays does not give confidence Muslims to wear animal or human figure motifs. Batik motifs in Malaysia are based on nature, particularly plants or floral (Ruslan, 2006).
Malaysian producers have tried to develop the Batik in this country. In addition, Technique and design have improved new types of products. Modern Malaysian designers often use Batik design elements in their clothing and accessories. Although most of the Batik fabric products are now made by machine, there remains a significant market for high-quality, hand-made batik. Motifs are defined as elements or fragment that when they join together, create the larger work of design. The researcher studies on different factors which influence the motifs that are often used in hand-drawn Batik of Malaysia.
First Batik designs were created for the exclusive use of women .Batik has begun to be worn by men who tie it at the waist in a large knot, especially in the states of Kelantan and Terengganu (Aziz. A .1999) Now, the use of batik is no longer limited to its function as a loin cloth for men and women, today batik is used to make clothes for both men and women as noted in the Encyclopedia Malaysian. (Encyclopedia Malaysian, Volume 6, 1996). Batik is more preferable by consumer as clothes such as ‘baju kurung’,’kebaya’, etc. Behind each design, relies an aesthetic experience in which resulted from the gratification and satisfaction of the consumer. Cognitive, emotional and sensory that derived from body, soul and mind considered as the relationship between different dimensions of an aesthetic experience (Ruslan, 2006).
Two popular styles applied by Malaysian women are ‘Baju Kebaya’ and ‘Baju Kurung’ that are made from textiles such as creped chine, silk, satin and Jacquard and batik shirts with western fashion cut became the semi-official dress for men. Majority of Malaysian Batik works are produced in the East Coast of Malaysia, Terengganu and Kelantan. This was due to the slow development of other industrial activities. Thus, batik production is a main business activity in those states as90% of the population in Kelantan and Terengganu consist of Malays (Ruslan , 2006).
Types of Batik
Batik produces involved four basic steps.
- Designing the fabric.
- The wax and apply it.
- The dyes, over dyeing, and crackling.
- Removing the wax and fixing the color (Meilach , 1973)
There are two types of batik:
- Hand-drawn batik
- Block-printed batik.
Hand-Drawn Batik is called Tulis, the Indonesian word for drawing. The wax is applied with a canting (pronounced Ttjanting), a small spouted copper vena attached to a bamboo handle which is used like a drawing pen. The Batik artist draws designs on a length of cloth using the wax that flows from the canting’s tiny, downward-curving spouts. Some of the spouts, their widths and tips, can be varied to achieve different effects with great precision (Fons k Porter’s Love of Quilting, 2011).
Design can be inspired by several sources and the following batik are grouped to illustrate the application of geometrical shapes, motifs from primitive artifacts, cutout papers, symbolism , natural and man-made forms, and people (Meilach, 1973).
These motifs are in different layouts and arrangements, such as horizontal, vertical, oblique, patches and the combination of the bricks, Batik cloth yard can be modified to produce bedding, handbags, curtains, pillow cases, cushion covers, bed linen, and various kinds of daily use items are beautiful and magnificent. Further handbag, shirt, and curtain, hand-drawn batik is also made to be used into caftans, scarves, even as framed art (A. Padma, 2005). Some artists, using their taste and invention, with a different point of view, try to make some changes in many pictures, and design new pictures by getting the ideas from the real objects.