tribaltextiles.info

It is currently Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:51 pm

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: batik
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 4:57 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon May 24, 2004 7:35 pm
Posts: 176
Location: east coast
Not sure viewers are interested in batiks but just in case, I am posting two currently exhibited at the American Textile History Museum in Lowell, Massachusetts, which is near Boston.

The one with the guy is mine and is a signed "Jans" and probably dating from around 1880. It is a kain panjang (long cloth) hip wrapper. Perfect condition. All hand waxed with a tjanting. No tjap work. Wonderful execution and dyeing. Probably took about 8 months to make. I'm the guy.

The larger piece is a dodot for royalty wearing. Gold leafed. Also old and all tulis work. I hope to own that one sometime.


Attachments:
File comment: A signed "Jans" batik. All tulis work.
APRIL 2005 203.jpg
APRIL 2005 203.jpg [ 38.36 KiB | Viewed 7842 times ]
File comment: A closeup of the dodot. Gold leaf over the design.
dodot closeup.jpg
dodot closeup.jpg [ 75.24 KiB | Viewed 7842 times ]
File comment: A batik dodot about 12 feet long. Use for royalty dress.
batik dodot.jpg
batik dodot.jpg [ 62.47 KiB | Viewed 7842 times ]

_________________
John
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 8:18 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
Posts: 1989
Location: Canterbury, UK
John

Welcome back after quite a long break! A couple of fine batiks. I would say that the first (which you currently own) is from one of the Dutch workshops perhaps with the Chinese Indonesian market in mind whilst the second looks to be truly Indonesian. Both comments are very obvious and superficial of course and I am sure that there is much more to say about them.

Glad to see that your tie tones with your batik!

best wishes,

_________________
Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
on-line tribal textiles resource


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2005 2:31 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 7:12 am
Posts: 143
Location: Bristol, England
Hello John,

Yes there are one or two forum members who are interested in batik. My own interest is quite specific, relating to Southeast Guizhou, China. I know nothing about Indonesian batik, except that many people reckon Indonesia is where batik originated, which, of course, the Chinese would disagree with.

The two pieces you show do look incredible. Please forgive my ignorance, but would your piece have had the many coloured dyes painted onto the cloth or would it have been waxed and dip dyed for each different colour? If the latter, then I feel a little embarrassed about the general crudity of the Guizhou batik!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2005 2:35 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon May 24, 2004 7:35 pm
Posts: 176
Location: east coast
Thanks for the welcome back Pamela. I hope I can be more faithful in the future. The forum is such an excellent opportunity for exchange and learning and just viewing delight.

You are correct with both comments neither of which is obvious nor superficial to those unfamiliar with Indonesian batiks.

The one with floral bouquet and "garuda" wings (inexplicably upside down here) was designed by J. Jans and made her workshop - in Pekalongan I believe. She was born in java but Dutch by birth and marriage. She was called "mother Jans" by many because of her matronly personality. She apparently died broke somewhere in Java after her kids refused to take her in.

Such pieces were expensive even then because of the great amount of time and skill needed to make one as well as their cachet. The owners of the shops hired the necessary skilled women batikers (waxers). It was probably taken to other shops where men did the hot and dirty dyeing work. It would have been purchased probably by one of the upscale Eurasians or "Indos" or at least by someone with money. The brown colors are directed toward a feeling of royalty.

The dodot was most likely made at one of the courts or palaces in central Java. Such huge pieces were worn for high ceremonies by court princes or sultans and required lengthy dressing techinques so that they draped just right according to custom. Many old picutures on indonesian weavings and such show figures draped in cloth and with a big "behind". They are pictured wearing a dodot and the "behind" is the material of these huge pieces.

I have absolutely no way to hang or otherwise display the dodot in my home but I am determined to own it.

The matching tie was a fluke but sometimes I get a break.

Thanks for the kind comments.

-John

Quote:
Welcome back after quite a long break! A couple of fine batiks. I would say that the first (which you currently own) is from one of the Dutch workshops perhaps with the Chinese Indonesian market in mind whilst the second looks to be truly Indonesian. Both comments are very obvious and superficial of course and I am sure that there is much more to say about them.

Glad to see that your tie tones with your batik!

best wishes,

_________________
John


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2005 3:20 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon May 24, 2004 7:35 pm
Posts: 176
Location: east coast
Hi Andrew,

My main collecting area is Borneo textiles but I have a "side" interest in these beautiful batiks from Indonesia. I am sure you are much more knowledgeable than me about batik. I really know nothing of your batik area either.

Regarding your question - these pieces (and the highest quality and price naturally) were first dye resisted with wax using the "tjanting" copper reservoir "pen" invented in Indonesia for holding melted wax . The women (always) applied the wax lines or area fillings with these pens of different widths. Both sides (again in the best pieces) were waxed identically so that the dye would not spread on the reverse side and blur the outlines.

Then the piece got the first dyeing and after it was dry the wax over the next color was laboriously scraped off (both sides) and the dyed portions waxed over. Both sides. They used a slightly different color wax originally to tell easily and without mistakes which stayed and which would be removed. Then the piece was dyed the second color. If that's the end of the colors, the piece was then put in boiling water and the remaining wax melted off leaving the original cloth color - usually bright white . If more colors - more wax removal, rewaxing, etc. You can imagine the work on fine line detailed pieces and those of many colors or shades of colors. The best pieces also used the finest Dutch cloth which permitted such fine detail.

Gold as in the dodot was applied to the finished piece by painting fish glue where desired then applying gold leaf. Cheaper pieces had imitation gold pounced over the glue.

Later, the "tjap" or copper stamp was invented and men took over the wax applicaton using these stamps. Each man could turn out several (identical) pieces per day as opposed to a couple pieces per year per woman. Even later, the process became one of painting colors directly on the cloth or even printing a whole piece. Pieces waxed entirely by hand and with the tjanting are called "tulis". Of course there were combination tjap and tjanting pieces, etc. all in the name of economy for mass affordability.

Incidentally, the "crackle" appearance of many batiks was looked on as a fault obscuring the fine designs because that meant the wax cracked during the rough handling in dye submersion and stirring with sticks, etc. Waxes were formulated to prevent that happening. Cheaper waxes made otherwise or by recycling mixtures from the boiling wax removal vats could be prone to such crackling. Later a virture was made of a vice until people don't recognize batik unless it has the "crackled" look. Even if faked by printing.

The tjanting was definitely invented in Indonesia for its purpose. Where techniques of applying resist to cloth and then dyeing came from originally seems to remain a mystery because resist techinques seem to have been practiced by many ancient cultures around the world. China (or India?) could have been a source for the Indonesian area however.

Perhaps other forum members could enlighten us?

Hope this helps>

Thanks Andrew for your comments.

-John


Andrew Dudley wrote:
Hello John,

Yes there are one or two forum members who are interested in batik. My own interest is quite specific, relating to Southeast Guizhou, China. I know nothing about Indonesian batik, except that many people reckon Indonesia is where batik originated, which, of course, the Chinese would disagree with.

The two pieces you show do look incredible. Please forgive my ignorance, but would your piece have had the many coloured dyes painted onto the cloth or would it have been waxed and dip dyed for each different colour? If the latter, then I feel a little embarrassed about the general crudity of the Guizhou batik!

_________________
John


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:22 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2003 6:34 pm
Posts: 393
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
John-
Many thanks, also, for sharing such interesting textiles with us. I find the dodot to be especially magnificent! It has a royal 'feel' to it even in a photo and without knowing its scale- such rich coloration and striking design.

Thank you also for the very informative description of the batik process in Indonesia. Do you know of any tulis work that is still being done? And I'm curious about the sources for the colors- did the use of synthetic dyes become widespread in the late 19thc. like in other places, or were natural dyes still used. I seem to recall that in the royal court in Yogyakarta there was a special color of brown from natural sources that was reserved for royalty...

Welcome back!

_________________
Susan Stem

http://www.tribaltrappings.com
http://tribaltrappings.blogspot.com/


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 6:25 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 7:12 am
Posts: 143
Location: Bristol, England
John,

Thank you very much for that succinct yet most illuminating introduction to the Indonesian batik process.

Presumably, batik made in the countryside for own use would have been much simpler in design and production method! I am amazed at the intricacy and detail on these top quality pieces, however, I’m still drawn to the comparatively crude, often child-like fumblings of the peasant minorities of Guizhou!

Andrew


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2005 4:14 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon May 24, 2004 7:35 pm
Posts: 176
Location: east coast
Hi Susan -

I am posting another picture of the dodot with its (current) owner so you can get an idea of its scale.

Exclusively tulis work and natural dyes can still be obtained by special request from current makers but naturally it is expensive - although cheap if you really consider just the labor involved. But few would dare to do it on "spec" because of its cost. "Manufactories" also could go broke in the old days if their spec pieces did not sell.

Many shops (like Jans) retained natural dyes until they closed in the early 1900's. Some makers prefer(ed) the subtle colors of natural dyes, others loved the variety, availability, and speed (and lower selling cost) of synthetic dyes. Some early (turn of 1900) synthetic dyes have faded badly but as they were improved, that has happened less. The coastal areas were more progressive in using synthetics while the interior areas more conservative - probaby because of the royalty connection who could also afford the hand work of waxing and natural dyes.

A special green natural dye was the secret of one of the Eurasian ladies.

Soga brown is the brown usually associated with interior pieces (which did not use the range of colors associated with the coasts), but it also (therefore?) had a royalty connection and coastal pieces used it for those effects (again like my Jans).

Dyeing was usually not done by or at the places of waxing, so they were bundled up and sent off to the dye shops, sometimes considerably removed. Some coastal pieces are referred to as "tiga negri" because their three special colors were dyed in three different areas which each specialized in its color.

And excellent book on batiks:
BATIK BELANDA 1840 - 1940 Dutch Influence in batik from Java. History and Stories.

by an authority and collector: Harmen C. Veldhuisen.

Thanks for the interest -

-John

susan stem wrote:
John-
Many thanks, also, for sharing such interesting textiles with us. I find the dodot to be especially magnificent! It has a royal 'feel' to it even in a photo and without knowing its scale- such rich coloration and striking design.

Thank you also for the very informative description of the batik process in Indonesia. Do you know of any tulis work that is still being done? And I'm curious about the sources for the colors- did the use of synthetic dyes become widespread in the late 19thc. like in other places, or were natural dyes still used. I seem to recall that in the royal court in Yogyakarta there was a special color of brown from natural sources that was reserved for royalty...

Welcome back!


Attachments:
File comment: The Dodot with its present owner for an idea of scale.
owner batik.jpg
owner batik.jpg [ 76.79 KiB | Viewed 7776 times ]

_________________
John
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2005 5:32 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon May 24, 2004 7:35 pm
Posts: 176
Location: east coast
Thanks for the kind comment Andrew.

Batiks were a business in Indonesia and I don't know much about any "folk" pieces which undoubtedly would have had their own charms in the hands of creative people. The message can transcend the medium.

Folk pieces obviously could not be the sophistication of what are usually pictured and collected. Batik work of the rougher kind pretty much changed with the imports of Dutch cloth which could be extremely fine and regular (some feels like silk) and the invention of the waxing pens which could consequently "draw" fine wax lines on the smooth, tight cloth.

I also find an attraction to the honesty and insight that can be found in "folk" pieces. Like children's art which is impossible to duplicate once that beautiful time is past.

Happy collection.



Andrew Dudley wrote:
John,

Thank you very much for that succinct yet most illuminating introduction to the Indonesian batik process.

Presumably, batik made in the countryside for own use would have been much simpler in design and production method! I am amazed at the intricacy and detail on these top quality pieces, however, I’m still drawn to the comparatively crude, often child-like fumblings of the peasant minorities of Guizhou!

Andrew

_________________
John


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2005 6:14 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
Posts: 1989
Location: Canterbury, UK
John

I had not realised that the Dodot was that big! Thanks for showing the current owner against it for scale. It really is a stupendous piece. I wilt at the thought of all the work that it took to achieve it.

thanks,

_________________
Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
on-line tribal textiles resource


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group