The Indonesian island of Java is the principal source of the brilliant textiles known as batiks. The technique flourished in Java in the 19th century as a result of the introduction of fine imported cotton and the invention of the canting, an implement for precise drawing with melted wax. Traditionally, women have been the primary producers of batik. Dyeing, on the other hand, is a craft done by both men and women. Javanese batik makers have always been open to a broad range of sources for their motifs: from local Javanese works to Chinese, Arabic, and Western inspirations. This display features a diverse selection of pattern and functional types, all from the museum’s rich collection, exploring the batik process. Find out more about the ‘Batik Textiles of Java’ exhibition from the Art Institute of Chicago’s website.
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