‘Canting’ a love for batik

Easy painting: Bismi Intanti and her husband Hairol Sham Basron showing the batik canting kits for sale at their home in Asam Kumbang, Taiping. — Bernama

TAIPING: Love for batik and a desire to preserve the country’s heritage has driven Bismi Intanti Abu Bakar to produce batik canting kits for the public, especially the younger generation.

Bismi Intanti, 49, the owner of Batik Tanuntaya from Asam Kumbang, here, said that although the batik canting kits are not produced on a large scale, the aim is to share with the public the joy of making batik and to continue to cultivate interest in it.

“I started in the batik industry in 1997, but it was only 15 years later that I ventured into producing kits for sale to the public at various craft programmes,” she said when met by Bernama in Kampung Asam Kumbang recently.

The mother of three shared that the highest sales achieved were 4,000 batik kit sets through orders from the Perak Craft Development Corporation, which had to be completed within a month.

“All orders were used for participants in craft programmes organised by the craft authorities. At that time, it was really challenging to complete the orders. This is because all the waxing was done entirely by hand and each one had to have a different motif.

“Fortunately, my husband is very helpful in ensuring that these orders were fulfilled,” she said.

Elaborating on the batik kits, Bismi Intanti said besides the waxed fabric, they also come with tools such as brushes and bottles containing dye, with prices ranging from RM15 to RM35 depending on size.

“There are several sizes available, including 8’x8’, 9’x9’, and 8’x11’, and sales can reach 200 to 400 sets per month.

“Participation in events or expos, may increase sales volume slightly,” she noted, underlining the importance of maintaining quality to meet customers’ preferences.”

Asked about the uniqueness of her batik kit, Bismi Intanti highlighted that they are handmade, with most wax designs inspired by nature.

“We still maintain the essence of batik in each wax design but I add elements like mountains and foliage. It’s a unique touch that helps create our own identity,” she added.

She said that the nearly two-year loss of income during the Covid-19 pandemic remains a memorable challenge.

“It had a significant impact because many orders, especially for batik kit sets, had to be cancelled last minute,” she added.

She expressed gratitude that the situation had improved, especially with support from the Taiping Municipal Council (MPT) and the Perak Craft Development Corporation.

“Both have been very supportive, offering us space to sell our batik products at expos,” said the former student of the Perak Craft Development Corporation in Johor Baru.

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