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Let’s Talk About Batik

Thursday, November 17, 2016

A style that’s re-emerging as a trend this season, shopping for batik prints is easier than ever. Jeet Dalvi tells you what you need to know before taking your pick and then gives you a few options to choose from

For centuries, using wax and dye was a common practice for clothing prints. Originating from Java, Indonesia, creating batik work was a recreational activity for tribes and has been followed for centuries. We spoke to Ayush Bharti, associate designer at Globus, to shed some light on the growing retail demands of the attractive print.
Historically, batik is the oldest resist method of applying colours to fabrics. “The traditional and formal style of batik includes etching, discharge dyeing, stencils and different tools for waxing and dyeing, as well as wax recipes with different resist values. They work well with silk, cotton, wool, leather, paper or even wood and ceramics,” Ayush tells us.

When it comes to the trend, India is catching up, quickly making the style its own. However, only a few designers currently do it right. Gopi Vaid, the brand owner of the Gopi Vaid store, tells us about her own batik collection and the love for this tradition, saying, “My family has been involved in the fabric business for many years, so I value the hard work and techniques that go into the process of batik design. That’s why I wanted to add an entire collection to my new store so that people can experience the beauty of traditional prints. And, I’m happy to see the acceptance for batik and the growing love for it in the youth as it connects them to the rich tradition of Indian textiles.”

Are people going to start hitting stores in search of this new fall trend? Take a look.

We need to see more in retail
“Batik is an uncommon fabric, which is why it doesn’t get the attention that it should. I would love to see more batik inspired garments in the retail market and I would love to have my own collection.”
— Swarali Deskmukh, student at NIFT

It’s a winter-friendly style
“It is fashionable and comfortable during the winter. I am not a fan of itchy sweaters and strangling scarves. I have a collection of batik pieces that are my saving grace during the season.” 
— Shalaka Kulakarni, designer at Gini & Jony

Skeptical acceptance
“Batik won’t last as a trend because designers all over the world are trying different techniques that are better than these prints. Also, making the garments involves a long process, so it’s time-consuming and not very cost-effective.”
— Megha Singh, cabin crew at Indigo

Too ethnic to be casual
“In India, batik is mostly used in bridal or ethnic wear. This means that it has less of an audience for casual wear. I like it, but the trend doesn’t really work for me, since neither a shirt nor a T-shirt can be paired appropriately with a bottom. So it’s not a much of hit for me.”
— Pritam Rai Chowdhary, student at NIFT

If you’re sold on batik, you may want to consider checking out the latest autumn winter trends that have used the print. We’ve picked these gorgeous options for you to fight the cold with style!

Go with the flow

Feel footloose and fancy-free in this ivory-indigo batik dress. The playful dress is not only fashionable, but also very comfortable.
Price Rs 4,000

Funky junky

Forget your monochrome blazers, this African Indigo citrus batik blazer is going to steal the limelight this season. Keep your look simple though! Too many prints can be confusing.
Price Rs 3,998

Printed Glory

Your love for printed tops will double when you see this beautiful piece. The traditional, hand-printed Indonesian batik work enhances its style.
Price Rs 6,397

Boho mania

Sling your bag over your shoulder in style by getting this batik crossbody piece. It will add a little charm to your winter collection.
Price Rs 2,599

Casual in the cold

If you don’t want to wear jeans all winter long, these casual trousers with batik print are here to save the day.
Price Rs 6,464

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