UNESCO’s recognition of Indonesian batik as a cultural heritage turned out to have a direct impact batik makers. Now, the number of batik makers admitted to overwhelmed with the increasing consumer demand for batik.
The increasing demand is not only be felt by stamp or printed batik, but also by the batik tulis [handwritten batik] makers. Moreover, written batik tulis offers high-quality works and contains of special motifs and the the process requires high precision.
One of the batik makers who feel the increase in demand is Kusnaini (55), a batik maker from Pekalongan, Central Java. Kusnaini admitted recent demand for batik work continues to increase. She even admitted that she was not able to fulfill the request because of her limited age.
Kusnaini admitted she’s overwhelmed by high demand. Moreover, her works is distinctive than other Batik. Pekalongan batik contains more flowers motifs, and colorful.
Therefore, the necessary preparation to be able to produce a work of batik pekalongan high quality. In addition, in the process also must have special technical so that batik can be equated with good quality. “Process also requires a long process from fabric selection to the materials needed,” said Kusnaini.
According to Kusnaini there are some preparations to make batik, like Nggirah (wash) or Ngetel, Nganji(starch) and Ngemplong (ironing). The process also includes several stages such as sticking wax batik on fabric to create the desired motif. Then, followed by staining batik. And further work is to remove wax batik at certain places with ngerok (ngerik).
Meanwhile, the materials used for batik writes aremalam (wax), wasp nest, getah gondrukem, and beef fat. In addition, a tool that can not be overlooked is canting, as a medium to reflect these materials into fabrics. Because of the long process a batik cloth takes at least one to three months.. “We cannot make batik in a week,” she said with her Javanese language.
Although the process is difficult, Kusnaini continued, yet batik is highly demanded specially by high officials. No wonder she has frequently invited to participate in various exhibitions.
Usually in exhibition, she makes batik while waiting for visitors. ‘But, some are come to my home to order school uniforms,” said the woman who has been making batik since she was 13 years old.
Related to the price, Kusnaini’s batik sold at Rp200 thousand to 1 million, depending on materials used in batik.