A contemporary fashion collection preserving the art of Indonesian Batik craftsmanship
In 2013 we launched our first Batik Collection mainly to preserve the art of Indonesian Batik craftsmanship. We wanted to design a Batik line which on one side has its strong base in traditional Indonesian Batik heritage and on the other side has an international design approach refering pattern, colour use and silhouettes. The result is a new approach to design Batik. Due to the handcrafted manufacturing process, Batik itself will always be limited in production quantities and each piece is different. Our mission is to preserve, maintain and develop further the art of handmade Indonesian Batik craftsmanship.
POPULO operates today a workshop and store where customers can experience a completely different, very personal shopping mood. Our customers become part of the creative processes to design their own Batik clothes within our framework of pattern, colours, materials and styles we provide for them. By giving them creative inspiration and new ideas their love and appreciation for handcrafted Batik grows day by day.
POPULO Batik adresses itself to anyone who loves traditional handcrafted workmanship. Our individual products are limited by its handmade manufacturing processes and no mass market products. We work together with small workshops in Indonesia and it is important for us that during the production process we can maintain the most sustainable, fair and eco-friendly supply chain possible.
Indonesian Batik has been designated by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of oral and Intangible heritage of humanity on 2 October 2009. As part of the agreement, UNESCO inisisted that the country preserve their heritage.
Batik is a cloth that is traditionally made by manual wax resist dying technique. Wax resist dyeing technique in fabric is an ancient art which existed in Indonesia since the 6th - 7th century. Other records even believe that it is a native tradition first developed in remote islands around the archipelago.
In Indonesia there are two techniques to apply wax on the cloth:
1) Hand drawn "Batik Tulis"
"Tulis" means writing and therefore the technique of "Batik Tulis" refers to the process to apply wax on the cloth by hand drawing. This is the most ancient technique which usually is done by women. It requires a great artistique sense and care. The wax is applied by a pen like tool called "Canting" and is very time-consuming.
2) Hand stamped "Batik Cap"
"Cap" means stamped and therefore the technique of "Batik Cap" refers to the process to apply wax on the cloth by putting it onto pre-carved wooden or copper blocks before stamping the fabric. Handstamped Batik was developed by the Javanese in the early 20th century and revolutionized batik production. By block printing - usually done by man - the wax onto the fabric, it became possible to mass-produce Batik much faster and in bigger quantities than by the "Batik Tulis" technique.
Unfortunately today most Indonesian refer Batik to a certain kind of pattern rather to a dying technique. In addition mass manufacturers produce clothes printed with Batik pattern not using the wax-resisted dying technique and sell them as Batik for very low prices. As a result the traditional Batik manufacturer can hardly compete with those printed equivilants. They rather focus on high end niche markets for devoted Batik collectors or produce very simple hand stamped Batik especially for the tourism market.