Every aspect of batik is rich in symbolism: its colors, motifs, and designs, as well as the way it is made, folded, and worn. Formerly a family and tribal signifier, and then a symbol of Indonesian independence and identity, it is now a fabric in demand all over the world. Fiona Kerlogue explores the origins of batik in the Indonesian archipelago; the materials and methods of production; regional traditions and differences; motifs and symbolism, including Malay, Chinese, and Islamic meanings; modern influences, such as industrialization, war, and independence; batik as traditional and modern costume; and batik as an art form. An illustrated index of motifs and their meanings, glossary, bibliography, and international listing of batik collections complete this authoritative yet accessible work.
Fiona Kerlogue is a Keeper at the Horniman Museum in London. She has taught and lectured extensively on textiles in Britain, Southeast Asia, and the United States.