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  • How To Recognize An Imitation Batik

Differentiate between genuine and fake batik

Things to know when you purchase a batik item

Batik is a wax-resist dyeing process that applies on fabric. From the very first steps of wax drawing or stamping, then dyeing with colors, hung to dry, and boiling the fabric in hot water, and then repeat the whole process again... - it is no doubt an art that requires very much of patience and skilled craftmanship. The tremendous of handwork and spirit that express by batik artist often guarantee you a UNIQUE piece, which can never find second piece the same anywhere in the world.

batik artist tjanting boiling wax
batik pattern batik pattern batik cloth

So, how do you know if you are getting a piece of batik which is truly batik, done by human hand OR it is just another common piece that is printed out from machine with 'batik' pattern?

One obvious difference is the pattern that appears on both side of the fabric. Because of its wax-resist technique, the genuine batik will have equal visible of pattern and colors on both side of fabric, whereas the fake one will only have one side pretty and the other side will have faded color or blur pattern.

genuine fake
Genuine Batik - true colors on both side
Fake Batik - Only one side pretty
genuine fake
Genuine Batik - true colors on both side
Fake Batik - Only one side pretty

Genuine batik is often imperfect, from its hand stamping pattern or drawing. As it is done by human, smearing is common to be found on the fabric. Sometimes, cracking effect or imperfection is there on purpose, often to be regards as an art expression by the artist. It is not easy to recognize fake batik from its pattern though, as they can be printed with common batik pattern too. However, if you found the pattern is too intricate and too fine to be done by human, please beware, you might be getting a 'perfect' machine printed one.

Again, you should examine the fabric, to see if its pretty pattern is also visible and has its true colors on the other side of the fabric too.

Because batik fabric is produce by human, thus it takes times to produce and it guarantee its uniqueness each and every pieces. Unlike the fake one where machine is use to print excessively (easily thousands of meters daily), you might just happen to bump into same wearing with others.

Lastly, due to the boiling process, which is part of the batik making procedure, a genuine batik can only be produce using natural fiber fabric such as cotton, rayon, hemp or silk and etc. On the other hand, fake batik could be using any material including synthetic to even further reduce the cost of making the imitation batik fabric or clothing.