Man-made batik that stands the test of time

Art in the making: Workers getting rid of excess wax and colouring at the Kamis Batik Kuala Terengganu factory, owned by Kamis (inset) in Kampung Banggol Durian in Serada, Kuala Terengganu. — Bernama

KUALA TERENGGANU: A company here is still producing batik the traditional way despite the advancement of technology which increases the production of machine-made batik.

“This is our heritage, the process involves various stages from stamping the batik block, colouring, boiling to drying. All that must be preserved because it is a special skill and talent, ” said Kamis Kassim, who owns Kamis Batik Kuala Terengganu.

The factory is located near Kampung Banggol Durian here.

Kamis, 55, said he was more comfortable producing batik using traditional methods because it has its own uniqueness compared to the machine-made ones.

He said the traditionally-made batik was more durable and the colour would not fade easily and there was a variety of patterns with unique colour combination produced according to the creativity of the batik makers.

“However, it is quite disappointing because the people cannot recognise the difference because they do not get the accurate description from the seller, ” he said.

The company had stopped producing batik “basahan”, instead, it was focusing on making batik “pasang” using cotton silk fabric imported from Indonesia.

“The special thing about this fabric is that it is more comfortable to wear, cool, easy to iron, more durable and the price is only RM200 for 4m compared to silk which is sold for more than RM300 for 4m.

“To date, the company produces 1,200 sets of cotton silk batik clothes every month and we aim to increase production to 4,000 sets per month in the next two years, ” said Kamis, who has been running the business for the past 25 years.

Currently, the company is the largest supplier of Terengganu genuine batik to 30 shops in Pasar Besar Kedai Payang as well as several premises in the city of Kuala Terengganu.

Director of the Terengganu branch of Kraftangan Malaysia, Juhari Azmi, said genuine batik products should continue to be made and maintained to preserve the country’s craft heritage. — Bernama

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