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Jakarta Post

Going back to the roots of batik in Pekalongan

  • Prodita Sabarini

    The Jakarta Post

Pekalongan, Central Java   /   Fri, January 7 2011   /  09:51 am

Still noble: A batik artist stamps a pattern onto a cloth at the workshop of Nur Cahyo, another batik producer Edo Hutabarat works with, in Pekalongan, Central Java.Designer Edward Hutabarat was sitting cross-legged on the floor of one of the oldest Peranakan Chinese batik producer’s house in Kedungwuni, Pekalongan. Piles of colorful batik tulis (hand-painted batik) worth Rp 10 million were scattered on the ground in front of him. Next to him, batik producer Liem Poo Hien, with a pen and paper, a nervous smile and a frown, carefully noted down Edo’s — as the designer is popularly called — instructions. “Without tanahan, without boog, without tumpal,” Edo said, uttering words that may have sounded like a foreign language to the batik novice. In batik vernacular, tanahan means an intricate hand-painted background, boog is the arching lining on the edges of batik, and tumpal is ...