I bought this batik cloth in Lasem about 40 years ago when we were collecting samples of batik from all over Java for a museum collection. Lasem is a small town on the north coast of Java which has long been famed for its batik, although there is not so much left of it now.
Lasem was particularly known for the bright "mengkudu" red which its dyers could achieve. So much so that batik manufacturers from other parts of Java sent their cloths to be dyed there. (in the days before synthetic dyes reached Java in the 1920s) The design of carnations and fans is aimed at the Peranakan Chinese community who live in Lasem and other coastal Javanese towns, as well as Singapore and Penang and Malacca in Malaysia
The red and blue on a white background is known as "bang-biru" and would be worn by married women. When batiking a cloth like this, great care must be taken, using very thick beeswax, to protect the white background from the blue and red dyes.
New condition. Size 1.02 x 2.45 m
Sign up to our newsletter