Batik Sarong: Heritage of Today for Tomorrow tells the story of batik sarong production in Kelantan and Terengganu from its pioneering days to its continuing development today. The articles have been compiled from data that has been collected via interviews with key members of the batik sarong industry, as well as a survey conducted by the research team.
The batik sarong occupies a special place in Malaysian culture. Each piece tells a story that reflects not only the history of its origins but also the beliefs and skills of its creators and the lives and cultural traditions of its wearers. Batik sarongs have served many functions but the primary use has always been as a form of clothing, highly suitable in a country with a hot, humid climate. The production of batik sarongs has been transformed over the years from a cottage industry into a commercial enterprise, but old techniques persist-hand stamping and hand dyeing-along with traditional pattern structures and motifs.
The sarongs featured in this book are drawn from several private collections. Most date from the 1970s when hand-made wax-printed batik reached its peak. A selection of contemporary batik sarongs displays shifts in colour, design, style, and technique that mark changing tastes and clientele. The texts, written by a cross-section of people involved in researching, creating, or collecting batik sarongs, are complemented by photographs that capture the colours, patterns, and motifs of this captivating textile art.
The Department of Museums Malaysia has always recognized the beauty and importance of Malaysian textiles, including its hand-made batik. Its collection, judiciously acquired over the years, will now be enhanced by the donation of several vintages and new pieces featured in this book. Batik Sarong: Heritage of Today for Tomorrow, too, represents a labour of love. It is hoped that it will inspire a new generation of batik lovers, makers, and collectors.
The editorial has interpreted and transcribed the research findings to the best of their ability and is now conveying them through this book. The illustrations and samples of batik sarongs that the readers will see on the pages of this book are drawn from the private collections of well-wishers, to whom we owe a huge debt of gratitude. They have made self-less and important contributions to the documentation of the batik sarong.