Differences Between Batik and Tenun

Indonesia is a multi-diverse country, especially in arts and culture. Each and every region in Indonesia has its own representation of traditional attire with unique characteristic, and we can explore them all. Today the most widely recognized Indonesian national costume are Batik and Tenun. As an Indonesian, we usually wear kain Batik and Tenun during formal occasions as well as traditional ceremonies.

Some of us thought, even me at first, that Batik and Tenun are the same – mostly because both textiles and pattern are having about the same results. But it turns out that they have many differences. The differences can be seen by four points I am writing below. So today, let’s just learn together about the differences between Kain Batik and Kain Tenun!

Differences Batik and Tenun

On How They Were Made
Tenun is actually an Indonesian term for woven. Kain Tenun were made by weaving strands of warp and woof that were previously tied and dyed in natural dyes. This process were made by using Alat Tenun Bukan Mesin. Batik is a pattern making technique that uses wax and paraffin for coloring. Batik textiles are made using white mori cloth as its base material that will be thickened by using a tool called “canting” that is filled with wax. According to the Javanese language, Batik is originated from the words “Amba” and “Titik”, meaning to write and drip.

On How Long Does It Take to Make Them

Kain Tenun requires a longer period of time to make than Kain Batik, because they are made by using a handloom or Alat Tenun Bukan Mesin (handwoven). You also need to be very patient and careful to create a beautiful kain Tenun with an accurate design. Whereas for kain Batik, the design will also take months to create. However, we already have the Batik stamps nowadays — this makes it easier to create kain Batik. This also affects the prices of the textiles, kain Tenun is often more expensive than kain Batik.

On Ways to Color Them
In terms of coloring, kain Tenun can produce a very wide range of color mixing. Whereas kain Batik generally only uses two to three colors; one as the base color.

On Their Pattern
The pattern on kain Tenun is more varied than kain Batik. Pattern created by one region, usually looks different than other pattern from different areas. While it turns out for kain Batik, although the pattern is actually different between areas, if you look closely, there are always some similarities that you can see from the patterns themselves.

Our traditional costumes are both very complex and beautiful at the same time. Therefore, we as citizens of Indonesia should be proud of what we have. We can start by learning about them, and also wear them often.

PS: If you want to learn more about other traditional fabrics from Indonesia, click here.

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