Indonesian batik

“Batik” is derived from the Javanese words “amba” (to write) and “titik” (dot), referring to a process of dyeing fabric by making use of a resist technique; covering areas of cloth with a dye-resistant substance to prevent them absorbing colours. The technique itself is more than a millennium old, but it was in Java that the resist dye method of decorating fabric was developed to unprecedented heights and into a unique art form.

Traditional designs from central Java form the basis of classical batik style. Classical batik patterns can be divided into two principal categories; those based on geometric division of the decorated area, and those that are freely designed without any attempt at symmetry.

motifkawungThere are several classical batik patterns that are easily recognizable as “Indonesian batik”. One of them is “kawung” pattern. The kawung, which is built up from circular or elliptical shapes that touch or overlap, is one of the principal ‘forbidden’ designs of the royal counts of Java, but now it is widely used, not restricted to the royal families.
This symmetric geometrical design can be applied as stranded knitting motif because it has relatively small repeats in stitches and rows. It can be applied to the whole garment or as a decorative band.

I have designed several knits which applied this ‘kawung’ motifs, including these berets which patterns have been made available for you to download.

This one is “Brown Kawung Beret”, which applied the traditional colors of Indonesian batik (brown and beige). You can buy the knitting pattern (not the beret) by clicking the “buy” button.

“Batik” is derived from the Javanese words “amba” (to write) and “titik” (dot), referring to a process of dyeing fabric by making use of a resist technique; covering areas of cloth with a dye-resistant substance to prevent them absorbing colours. The technique itself is more than a millennium old, but it was in Java that the resist dye method of decorating fabric was developed to unprecedented heights and into a unique art form.

Traditional designs from central Java form the basis of classical batik style. Classical batik patterns can be divided into two principal categories; those based on geometric division of the decorated area, and those that are freely designed without any attempt at symmetry.

motifkawungThere are several classical batik patterns that are easily recognizable as “Indonesian batik”. One of them is “kawung” pattern. The kawung, which is built up from circular or elliptical shapes that touch or overlap, is one of the principal ‘forbidden’ designs of the royal counts of Java, but now it is widely used, not restricted to the royal families.
This symmetric geometrical design can be applied as stranded knitting motif because it has relatively small repeats in stitches and rows. It can be applied to the whole garment or as a decorative band.

I have designed several knits which applied this ‘kawung’ motifs, including these berets which patterns have been made available for you to download.

This one is “Brown Kawung Beret”, which applied the traditional colors of Indonesian batik (brown and beige). You can buy the knitting pattern (not the beret) by clicking the “buy” button.

This one, “Black Kawung Beret” is similar to the brown one, but different in the beret top motif design.

Another Indonesian batik element that I tried to apply for knitting is the ‘tumpal’ design. Tumpal is the triangular motif drawn in rows, used for decoration of various garments, most often for the ends of a batik cloth.

I tried to apply this element of Indonesian batik design to two of my beret designs (well, at least two :D …there will be more, I hope) : Blue Tumpal Beret and Red Tumpal Beret. The tumpal designs are similar, but still they’re different. I personally like the red one better. And the colors of the red one are more or less similar with traditional dyes that are often used in traditional batiks.

Blue Tumpal Beret (free pattern, downloadable on the previous blogpost).

(source : Roojen, Pepin van (2001), Batik Design, Pepin Press BV, Amsterdam)

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