The Art of Batik Making in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

How Batik Fabric is Made

Batik Waxing in Yogyakarta

Batik Making in Yogyakarta

During our recent visit to Yogyakarta, we visited Batik Indah Rara Djonggrang – a batik factory that offers an immersive experience to its visitors. Guests are always welcomed with open arms in batik making shops in Yogyakarta, where everyone can learn the step by step process of making a Batik fabric.

Batik Maker at Batik Rara Djonggrang Yogyakarta
Batik Maker at Batik Rara Djonggrang Yogyakarta

However, Batik is the process or rather an art where bell-shaped metal too, and a tjanting is dipped then filled with wax. People here are willing to give you a quick recount of the process of batik making.

If you visit to just browse the batiks and probably purchase some, there are many batik making centers in Yogyakarta, like Batik Indah Rara Djonggrang. Scheduling a visit is also very simple.

You can ask a local tour operator to help you plan for your visit to any batik making centers, or you may go directly to any batik making shops if you know how to navigate the city.

Batik Maker in Yogyakarta
Batik Maker in Yogyakarta

Indah Rara Djonggrang is one of the most popular batik making centers in the region of Yogyakarta.

When you arrive, you will find the batik making process, which takes place at the back of the shop. The center has excellent services, with a tour guide who can speak fluently in English.

Batik Waxing in Yogyakarta
Batik Waxing in Yogyakarta

The guide will explain everything you need to know about the process of batik making, making learning very interesting. The demonstration of how batik is made is quite brilliant, with copper blocks, which are of intricate designs.

Batik Indah Rara Djonggran is a large batik factory outlet with a variety of batiks to choose from. You can have one tailor-made for you in high quality and excellence.

Wax Application in Batik Factory
Wax Application in Batik Factory

Visiting Indah Rara Djonggrang will give you a clear idea of how the batik is made and the real effort that goes into handmade batik. Additionally, people here will let you make your own batik as you are guided by the experts.

You will learn everything from wax on, wax off, and dye coloring. Besides, prices at Indah Rara Djonggrang are not fixed, and you can bargain down if you want. It is an amusing experience for a little trip.

Yogyakarta Batik Making Factory
Yogyakarta Batik Making Factory

It is also worth noting that you can easily get scammed and get sold a fake batik. For this reason, it is probably a good idea to take precautions. A genuine batik usually does not have a front or back; instead, the dye passes through the material, forming a very distinguishable pattern in front and back.

Whereas a fake batik is not handmade but rather machine-made, the dye only appears on one side, and if flip it over, it will be pretty obvious that it is the wrong side.

Batik Factory in Yogyakarta
Batik Factory in Yogyakarta

Even though technology has made it quite possible to silkscreen a batik motif onto a cloth, what people love is the ingredient of human touch.

That is why still many batik makers in Yogyakarta have not entirely ditched using their hands. The markers transfer their soul through the hands and into the cloth, over a long creation process.

Indonesian batik fabric as an inherent part of their lives, culture as well as heritage. The most revered batik fabric is the Javanese. The knowledge and the process of making batik are usually passed down from generation to generation.

Batik Paterns in Yogyakarta
Batik Paterns in Yogyakarta
Jogja Batik Factory
Jogja Batik Factory
batik factory yogyakarta
batik factory Yogyakarta
yogyakarta batik shopping
yogyakarta batik shopping

The Process of making batik

Batik simply refers to the “resist” process of putting makings designs on a piece of fabric. The batik creators use wax to stop the dye from penetrating the cloth and leave blank areas on the dyed cloth. The process of waxing can be repeated many times to create an intricate multicolored design.

Experts in batik making repeatedly wax as well as tub dying to achieve their desired final results. Though the output is excellent, this method requires one to possess the mastery of mixing color and over dying.

This is because as each level of dye is smeared over the last, new color is formed. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be an expert batik maker to get beautiful results and enjoy the process.


Below are basic requirements if you want to make batik yourself.
  • You can use any natural fiber such as rayon, hemp, or cotton.
  • Melting pot
  • Quality Wax
  • A newsprint paper

You can use this equipment to apply wax.

  • Tjantings
  • Batik dropper pen
  • Flat brush. It is recommended to use the natural bristles as synthetic ones melt
  • Potato mashers

The tube dying apparatus includes;

  • Dyer’s salt. An additive-free plain salt can also be used.
  • Fiber reactive dyes.
  • Soda ash
  • Bucket
  • A professional textile detergent like synthrapol
  • Measuring spoons as well as cups
  • A stirring stick or you can also use a big spoon
Indonesian Copper Batik Tjaps
Indonesian Copper Batik Tjaps
Batik Fabric after wax application
Batik Fabric after wax application

The methods of waxing and tub dying

Tub dying is the process of dying a solid color on a particular material.  The process involves using a repeated layer of wax and an applied dye on the cloth, resulting in an overlapping multicolor design. Doing multiple layers will require dying the colors from lightest to darkest.

Step 1: Start with washing your fabric to ensure there are no impurities, and the best detergent that is also widely used is Synthrapol.

Step 2: Dye first a few fabrics using different base colors.

Step 3: Melt the premix batik wax. You can use a small melting pot if you are working on a small project.

Step 4: Using a frame or a hoop to stretch your fabric.

Step 5: Begin to apply wax using the tools of your liking. A point worth noting is that you should check the temperatures when waxing to allow swift penetration through the fabric.

Step 6: Tube dye your fabric, starting with the lightest color that will easily mix with successive colors.

Step 7: Rinse the fabric followed by washing it gently in a detergent, which, in our case, is Synthrapol. Allow the fabric to dry. Avoid using hot water as this might melt your wax.

Step 8: For each color, you repeat steps 2 to 6 above.

Step 9. Boil the wax out in a pot using water and Synthrapol or any detergent of your choice. You can also iron out the wax by using absorbent papers.

Step 10: Use a washing machine to wash your fabric in synthrapol to remove any remaining dye and dry your fabric.

Finally, you can sew, quilt, wrap, or if it dazzles you so much, you can just hang it up.

Indah Rara Djonggrang Batik CV
Address: Jl. Tirtodipuran No.18, Mantrijeron, Kota Yogyakarta, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55143, Indonesia
Phone: +62 274 375209

A big thanks to Cebu Pacific and the Ministry of Tourism of Indonesia for inviting #TeamOutofTown to visit and experience Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Yogyakarta Travel and Tour Packages

Check out our complete list of recommended Hotels in Yogyakarta via Agoda, or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.

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