Batik is one of the Indonesian traditional textile artwork that has been recognized in the whole world since many centuries ago. Barve (1967:30) defined as ”…Javanesse process of resist printing, where molten wax is poured over patern before dyeing..which leaves the waxed portion uneffected in dyeing”. Batik are defined also by Maruyama (1993:65) dan Yoshioka (1993:84) as ”…. the indigenous wax resist dye process of Indonesia gradually yielded rich, sophisticated fabrics”. It was also described ”….today, batik has become a generic term referring to all categories of wax resist dyeing in the world”.
On October 2nd, 2009 UNESCO nominated and promoted batik as the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The date was later designated as National Batik Day through Presidential Decree No. 33 2009 about National Batik Day. People celebrate it in many ways, through festivals, carnivals, exhibitions, or seminars. Moreover, government recommends to wear batik in daily activities as a uniform.
After UNESCO promotion, batik becomes more popular in the international community. Various regions were developing their own batik, with their own uniqueness. Batik industries are growing more rapidly and contribute to economic growth. Batik sector’s contribution to the national economy was very proudly, where at the beginning of 2012 there were 21,600 business units, the employment of 165,000 people, the export turnover reached 4 trillion rupiah and foreign exchange contribution of $ 41,000.
Batik has become the identity of Indonesian people. Our predecessors Sukarno always stressed that a great nation is a nation that can appreciate the history and maintain its identity. Therefore, our duty as a nation of Indonesia to safeguard batik as the cultural heritage of humanity. According to Stuart Hall, identity is a matter of the right to be recognized. It exists in the future and the past. Identity is not something that has been established and could not be changed, but it continues to change according to the passage of time. This involves the ability to adapt to the space and time.
In ancient time, batik indicate the social strata of the one who wear it. Some motifs like “parang rusak barong”, “udan liris”, “kawung” and many others are forbidden motifs. Only noble families are permitted to use it. Ordinary people usually use what they call “sudagaran motif” or the merchandized motifs. Different kinds of motifs were used for different occassion and traditional ceremonies or festive events. In wedding ceremonies, bride and bridegroom use special motifs like sido mukti, sido luhur, sido asih, as a pray for future happines and prosperity. Form of batik was only as wrapped fabric in the form of “sinjang” and “saroong”. Natural dyes was used as the coloring materials gave a natural colour cream to brown.
Today everybody can use batik , without worrying about their social class or the events. The batik scope has been widespreaded from local, regional into national, and even international. Batik motifs becomes more creative, from traditional elements into modern design and colours. Batik handycraft has become industries, and downstream industries like fashion and upholstry has grown up. Batik industries have become creative industries where innovation of design, new technologies, and new managements are very important.