How to Buy Batik Bali

Batik Bali, just like other types of Batik in other parts of Indonesia, has become a merchandisable souvenir for both locals and tourists. If you happen to be in Bali, it might be a good idea for you to get this traditional Balinese fabric as a souvenir. There are two things that you need to do to buy the Balinese batik. The first is to find a shop where you can buy Balinese batik; however, the more important is the second, which is to know how to choose the right Balinese batik to buy.

Buying Balinese Batik

Balinese batik was born in Bali around the 1970s. Since then, it has been becoming popular merchandise and a favorite souvenir. Batik shops can be found in almost every place in Bali. If you are in the capital city, you can easily find Batik Denpasar shops that sell either Balinese batik only or a selection of batik garments that are made by local batik makers and those brought in from other regions. The most important part of your shopping is not how to find the shop, especially due to its ubiquity, but how to choose the right batik. There are several important factors to mind when buying batik in Bali.

  1. Material

Genuine batik should be made from unbleached cotton. The fabric should feel soft and comfortable. The batik-making technique may cause the fabric to feel a little bit stiff, but if you are good at assessing fabric, you should be able to detect the real softness of the fabric. Avoid any batik garments that are made from synthetic materials that don’t feel good enough.

2. Manufacturing Procedure

Genuine Batik Bali is hand-painted using wax to create negatives. The fabric will then be dyed and soaked in warm water to remove the wax. Because of this manufacturing procedure, both sides of the fabric should appear the same. This provides you with the easiest way to distinguish a genuine hand-painted batik garment from the low-quality screen-printed garment. If the screen printing technique is used, one side of the fabric will appear duller than the other side.

3. Pattern

Because Balinese batik shares the same manufacturing procedure with other batik styles, especially those from Java, the only way to distinguish it is by observing its patterns. There are several patterns that are considered unique to Batik Bali, such as peacock pattern, buketan (bouquet) pattern, and fish pattern. Balinese batik patterns are also known for their asymmetry compared with the more symmetric Javanese counterparts. 

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