Taste of Indonesia: "Batik Complongan"

batik complonganAlthough its patterns may resemble those found on other Batik products made in Java's northern coast, Batik Complongan is created via a unique production method that includes a special needle comb. This really makes the designs come alive and in order to be experienced fully, the rich textures of a Batik Complongan piece have to be touched as well as seen.

batik complonganAfter the wax is placed on the fabric using a traditional canting tool, the artist will then puncture the fabric in certain areas (a technique known as pencomplongan). The comb used for this usually consists of between 20 and 30 needles with a diameter of 0,5 millimetres each. The rest of the process is identical to that employed when making conventional Batik : remove the wax by soaking the fabric in hot water, hang the fabric up to dry, and then slap a price tag on it !

Batik Complongan is sold by numerous Batik vendors in Indramayu, however not everyone can produce this precious product. As with royal status, the unique pencomplongan comb skills are inherited and passed on from one artist to another in the same family down the generations. These distinctive Batik cloths usually sell for between IDR 200,000 and IDR 400,000 per piece.

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