What is batik?
Batik is one of the most prevalent art forms in Indonesia and the most visible. Batik is the art of applying wax to a cloth surface then dyeing. Intricate patterns are produced after this process had been repeated.

Batik is part of the traditional dress of Indonesia with many older men wearing a tight batik shirt.

In Bali you will find many shops selling batik shirts, pant and paintings. I’d avoid the clothes as they are not built to last and shop around for better prices on the paintings.

One of the main centers for batik production is Yogyakarta in Java. Along Jalan Malioboro there are street vendors with huge tables of shirts, pants and other items for a $1 each. Also to be found are stores selling yards of the raw material in huge rolls. Many of these stores are Indian owned with local Javanese employees. I bought several yards of plain black and several yards of a golden colored batik. I took this to a lady in a side street who made shirts for me according to my style and specifications.

I know travellers who have hired locals to make other batik items, t-shirts, surf shorts etc and have shipped them home with hopes of selling them. The deal is you should be there when the items are being made. If you ask for triple stitching you might not get it unless you are there to direct them.




I have a friend in California who has an import-export business from Bali. For those thinking of doing this kind of thing here’s a look at the kind of stuff that sells.

Bali Sierra

History of batik

More info on batik