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“Kelengan” long cloth, Indramayu, ca. 1900

As an old port city in West java , Indramayu has a rich cultural heritage  that was heavily influenced by other cultures  from India, Middle East, China and the Netherlands. This cultural assimilation was shown beautifully in the art of batik making which known as batik “Dermayon”. The earliest known batik “Dermayon” cloths were made in the 17th c by batik makers who originally came from Lasem, Central Java, therefore batik “Dermayon” motifs were heavily influenced by Chinese motifs known in batik Lasem.

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This long cloth adorned with floral and animal motifs such as qilin and phoenix

This particular natural dyed indigo color long cloth, decorated with motifs such as qilins and phoenixes,  was probably made in the early 1900s by a Peranakan batik workshop in Indramayu. Big size cantings were used to apply liquid hot wax on this batik cloth. To fill the empty spaces between the motifs, a small comb with fine needle like teeth is used to produce small dots called cocohan. This technique is specific only to batik cloths from Indramayu and Lasem.

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Hand-drawn wax resist on machine-woven cotton,natural dyes

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