The Art of Batik Madura

Batik Madura is one of the most popular batiks that came from outside Java, the homeland of batik. With a time consuming (traditional hand drawn batik Madura could take up to four months) and unique process (wax is mixed with
honey to neutralise the aroma of the wax), and a more creative design, it often fetches a high price from batik fans.

Kain Panjang Kepala 1 Sisi-180 (1990) by UnknownMuseum Batik Indonesia


Its geographic location and climate have led its men to the sea as fishermen or merchants, while its women have learned to draw in simple, naturalistic style and always with bold and expressive outlines.

Kain Sarung 461 (2005) by unknownGaleri Batik YBI

Batik makers in Madura prefer to be guided by their own creativity. As a consequence their patterns always show irregularities or slight deviations.

The blank spaces between the motifs are also filled with drawings of vines or plants, all arranged in a particular pattern.

Kain Panjang 239 (1950) by B. SutoredjoMuseum Batik Indonesia

It is not only valued for its expressive motifs and bold use of reds, blacks, blues and greens

Kain Panjang Kepala 1 Sisi-180 (1990) by UnknownMuseum Batik Indonesia

Its intricate patterns, called isen-isen, features dots...

...fine lines...

...curves, fish scales that are added to the patterns of leaves or birds.

Kain Sarung 29 (1950) by UnknownMuseum Batik Indonesia

Refusing to commit to fixed pattern also results in a tendency to simplify some motifs and to occasionally enlarge others.

Kain Sarung 28 (1950) by UnknownMuseum Batik Indonesia

Popular motif includes animals such as ayam bekisar, or the wild Madura cock, and flowers.

Kain Panjang 499 (1980) by UnknownMuseum Batik Indonesia

Batik from inland Madura tends to have a more classical style with darker colours.

Kain Sarung Kepala di Tengah-105 (circa. 1950) by UnknownGaleri Batik YBI

Traditional dyes from fruit, peels, leaves are used for colour, making the process more time consuming, and the resulting work more rare and valuable, worthy of any good textile collection.

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