Throughout the history of Malaya and Malaysia as we know it today; batik has been an important part of Malaysian culture and identity. It’s always shown through a traditional light but many fashion brands are reinventing and modernising batik. With that, Beauty Insider is listing out those brands for you to check out for yourself and snag clothing or two!
What Is Batik?
Batik, to put it simply, is a process of decorating fabric using wax as a resist. Batik is an antique style of art derived from the Javanese terms amba (to write) and titik (to dot). Some have even described it as wax writing or drawing with a broken line.
Additionally, Batik is a created cloth that requires the careful and repetitive process of waxing, dyeing, and boiling. Wax is used to block off colours during the colouring process. Wax must be applied to any region of the cloth that is not covered by a specific colour.
Brands That Are Modernising Batik That You Need To Check Out!
1. Batik Boutique
|ADDRESS||3, Jalan 26/70a, Desa Sri Hartamas, 50300 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur|
|OPERATING HOURS||Monday to Saturday (9am – 6pm), Sunday (Closed)|
Batik Boutique is a multi-award-winning social company that aims to break Malaysia’s poverty cycle. They work with artists from underserved regions to create fair-trade clothing, household products, and accessories using batik. Moreover, they collaborate with batik craftsmen in Malaysia’s rural and urban areas to develop natural fibre batik fabrics. This cloth is subsequently given to their training centre’s seamstresses, who use it to manufacture goods in popular patterns.
They are able to change the situations of marginalised populations by giving work opportunities, sustainable incomes, and financial independence skills through this methodology. Batik Boutique presently employs more than 200 artists.
2. Brava Batik
Raz Bahari’s line debuted with three reversible dress styles. Because these designs do not correspond to stringent Islamic dress regulations, the designer’s clientele is largely non-Muslim, but her brand receives great, encouraging feedback. The textiles are acquired locally in Terengganu and Kelantan, as well as internationally in Indonesia. The distinction between Indonesian and Malaysian batik garments is that Indonesian batik employs more earth tones, whereas Malaysian batik uses more vibrant colours.
3. Gérson Custom Made Batik
|OPERATING HOURS||Monday to Saturday (9am – 5pm), Sunday (Closed)|
Gérson began as a home tailoring company run by three sisters in Klang, Malaysia, servicing the local community. They had custom-made batik costumes manufactured for every Chinese New Year celebration as part of their family tradition. After 30 years, four cousins decided to take on the challenge of digitising their little family company. Since 2018, they’ve successfully transitioned from an offline to an online Instagram business, modernising batik patterns and specialising in custom-made batik clothing.
4. Suria Artisan Batik
|ADDRESS||10-6, Sierramas Heights, Jalan Sierramas Barat, Sungai Buloh 47000 Selangor, Malaysia|
They are a mission-driven creative firm based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, that focuses on developing original fine quality, contemporary batik. They have a zero-waste strategy in which their textiles are painted rather than dip-dyed, therefore conserving valuable water. The wax is then boiled away, leaving lovely impressions and the leftover wax is recycled.
Moreover, their major source of inspiration is the beautiful, complex patterns found in the Malaysian jungle. Their factory is situated in the heart of this natural wonderland, in Janda Baik, Pahang; which is home to one of the world’s oldest deciduous rainforests. This artisan site is presently undergoing expansion.
|ADDRESS||Bangsar Village II – UGF 17A, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur|
|OPERATING HOURS||Every day (10am – 10pm)|
The brand was created in 2015 after creator Fern Chua won MyCreative Ventures’ Fashion Pitch 2013 in Malaysia. Its mission is to celebrate and rediscover the artistic beauty of Batik, an ancient cloth art form. It has pioneered the creation of eight main collections presenting vacation apparel for a more relaxed lifestyle.
Additionally, FERN became an Artisanal Collective last year, selecting home décor, jewellery, and accessories from artists all around the world. FERN’s refurbished flagship shop in Bangsar Village II debuted only last year.
6. Kapten Batik
|ADDRESS||G3-11 Publika Shopping Gallery, 1, Jalan Dutamas, WP, 50480 Kuala Lumpur|
|OPERATING HOURS||Every day (10am – 10pm)|
Kapten Batik is a menswear brand that was created in 2017. Using handmade handicrafts and traditional fabrics, the brand encourages sustainable development. Its designs are described as “daily wear,” meaning something you can go to the pool while appearing put-together enough for lunch.
Their creativity is informed by their numerous trips around Nusantara. To create a premium batik that is customised and suited for the new generation market, Kapten Batik goods go through a comprehensive creative process. Inspired designs are traced onto a sheet of paper and duplicated by their talented team of designers, who then combine the designs to create a one-of-a-kind batik art.
7. Bujins Batik
|ADDRESS||1-11, No, GM, 2, Jalan Robertson, 50150 Kuala Lumpur|
|OPERATING HOURS||Monday, Wednesday to Saturday (11am – 6pm), Sunday & Tuesday (Closed)|
Bujins Batik, a globally recognised brand, owes its success to Master Craftsman Amir Harith bin Mat Kashim. Bujin, as he is affectionately called, received the Golden Hand Award from our Prime Minister in 2009 and subsequently won the Piala Seri Endon’s Fashion Category in 2012. Bujin presently has a batik gallery in Putrajaya and, at the Bujin Academy, teaches the craft of batik to rural populations. Bujin’s passion for batik painting is firmly rooted.
Moreover, in Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, they have a batik gallery with an exceptional batik collection. At the same time, they established Bujins Academy to teach the art of batik to rural people, particularly the young.