G20’s Batik Fashion: Elon Musk Wearing It, Leaders Not Behind | A Dive Into the Indonesian Tie-dye Print – News18


Last Updated: November 14, 2022, 13:17 IST

New Delhi, India

A mangrove batik worker draws a batik pattern on a white cotton cloth in Klaces village, Indonesia, November 4, 2021. REUTERS/Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana

A mangrove batik worker draws a batik pattern on a white cotton cloth in Klaces village, Indonesia, November 4, 2021. REUTERS/Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana

Traditionally worn by Indonesian royals, with roots found it India and Egypt as well, the unique tie-dye Batik print is helping leaders make a fashion statement at the Bali G20 summit

Indonesian fashion is on the G20 frontlines as world leaders meet for the 14th summit of the world body in Bali. Many nations’ representatives, including Sherpas, have been seen wearing the traditional ‘Batik’ shirts popular in Indonesia as they attend the summit being held at the upmarket Nusa Dua area of the resort Island.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who addressed the B20 Summit in Bali virtually on Monday, was seen wearing a green Bomba Batik shirt. Anindya Bakrie, CEO of Bakrie & Brothers, informed the session’s moderator that the Batik was created in a small village in Central Sulawesi.

Elon Musk seen wearing a Bomba Batik shirt at the G20.

Other leaders attending the summit have also been seen sporting the Batik print.

#Bali 🇮🇩 #Indonesia: have #batik, will travel. (Regardless of if there is a #G20 @g20org or #B20 @B20 summits.) Recognize anyone?…

👉https://t.co/pXwK19JDz7 #MIGlobal pic.twitter.com/I3mKhdIeso

— 🚶🏻Curtis S. Chin (@CurtisSChin) November 13, 2022

What is Batik?

Batik is a wax-resist dyeing technique that is applied to the entire cloth. This technique originated on the Indonesian island of Java. Batik is created by either drawing the resisting dots and lines with a spouted tool called a canting or printing the resist with a copper stamp called a cap.

Because the applied wax resists dyes, the artisan can colour the cloth selectively by soaking it in one colour, removing the wax with boiling water, and repeating if multiple colours are desired, according to reports.

A mangrove batik worker draws a batik pattern on a white cotton cloth in Klaces village, Indonesia, November 4, 2021. REUTERS/Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana

An Ancient Art Form

Scholars attribute various origins to it, a report by Prestige Online explains. The term batik is derived from ‘ambatik,’ which means ‘a cloth with small dots,’ and the suffix ‘tik,’ which means a small dot, point, or drop. It could also have come from the Javanese word tritik, which refers to a dyeing resist process.

A vendor shows batik cloth on display at a booth at Indonesia Fashion Week in Jakarta, March 11, 2016. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside

The Javanese also refer to the process of making batik as ‘mbatik manah,’ which translates as ‘drawing a batik design on the heart.’

Since the fifth century, batik prints have been a part of Indonesian culture. Since then, the wax-resistant dyeing technique has been used to depict the entire human life cycle — birth, marriage, and death. When special motif designations known as batik parang were assigned to each member of the lineage such as rulers, princes, and nobles, it was initially worn only by royal families.

Later, it depicted various provinces and social castes in the Asian country using distinct patterns.

Batik Found in India Too

Batik garment samples can be traced back to some Indian and Egyptian regions where the textile was traded. Archaeologists discovered evidence of this in Pharaoh’s tomb, in the form of a wax indigo cloth dated around 5000 BC, indicating the use of wax in textile production at the time, the report stated.

The oldest batik textile (from the 5th century) was discovered in the Toraja Regency on the island of Sulawesi.

The G20 Fashion

Apart from journalists, experts, sherpas and other world leaders sporting the Batik print, Indonesian leaders are also proudly flaunting their fashion heritage at the crucial summit.

United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan is greeted by an official wearing Batik as he arrives at Ngurah Rai International Airport ahead of the G20 Summit in Bali. REUTERS/Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana
Janet Yellen, U.S. Secretary of Treasury talks with Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin during a launching of the pandemic fund, ahead of the G20 Summit in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, November 13, 2022. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan

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