A Modern Take On Batik, From 7 Regional Brands

We spotlight 7 local and regional labels that are championing the heritage of batik and doing a modern take on the stunning fabric.

Courtesy of Unsplash, Fikri Syahfana

As a shopaholic and fashion enthusiast, I already knew I was going to get sucked into the world of batik the moment I laid my eyes on some of the most stunning clothing ever. Some may disapprove, but I personally think that fusions of modern and traditional almost always work well, especially when there’s so much culture in a piece of fabric.

Courtesy of Mahmur Marganti, Unsplash

‘Batik’ is Javanese in origin, either derived from the word amba (to write) and titik (dot), or a hypothetical Proto-Austronesian root *beCík (to tattoo), as per Indonesia Design.

The iconic fabric is well-known and highly revered all over the world. Early examples of batik were found in the Far East, Middle East, Central Asia and India, dating back to more than two millenniums ago. The intricate tradition is found in several countries, including Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nigeria.

Courtesy of Agto Nugroho, Unsplash

Though similar techniques of manual wax-resistant dyeing are also found in said countries, each has its own patterns and designs inspired by the local traditions as well as flora and fauna.

In recent years, Singapore has seen a resurgence of popularity in batik. Fashion brands are having a modern take on the head-turning fabric. Just think of looking like royalty in an immaculate matching two-piece batik set. You’ll be standing out in a crowd and adorning art and culture!

Well, I’ve said enough. Bottom line is, if you appreciate batik as much as us you’ll love the selection of labels we’ve sourced and approved.

Yeomama Batik

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Established in 2018, YeoMama Batik is a Singaporean brand that uses authentic handmade batik to create clothes for the modern lifestyle. Focused on empowering the batik craft and community in Indonesia, every piece is handmade from start to end.

Courtesy Of Yeomama Batik

Helmed by a genuine mother-daughter duo, the brand is “all about being bold, being batikful, being yeoself” regardless of your age and body shape. At the core of it all, the pieces are also thoughtfully designed for curvier women who struggle to find beautiful clothes.

Shop its range of womenswear, menswear, activewear, clothes for kids and accessories here.

2. BabeCave Batik

Founded by two best friends, Michaela Bisset and Amy Yuan started BabeCave Batik out of their appreciation and obsession for the historic fabric. In an attempt to further share pieces of beautiful heritage and culture, the duo integrated batik into modern style clothing.

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Its clothes are produced locally in Singapore, sustainably and ethically from fabric hunting down to quality control and packing. Each piece from the slow fashion brand is designed by Bisset and Yuan. They’ve also curated a batik swimwear line — perfect for lounging about in at the beach or by pools.

See and purchase BabeCave’s range of nostalgic and vintage batik pieces here or grab them at Design Orchard.

3. Vespertine

Courtesy of Vespertine

With a culture rooted in French romanticism, Vespertine is all about going ‘back to batik’. Its pieces are described as “a material expression of the quintessential woman of the world, radiating quiet confidence and born to inspire.”

Bound in the prominence of fine detail, Vespertine’s design philosophy is to create silhouettes that enhances a woman’s natural grace with clean lines. The French-trained designer, Emmanuelle Chiau, built her savoir-faire and 11 years of professional experience in many Parisian lbels as a merchandiser.

Browse the artisanal fabrics and request for customised designs via its website here.

4. Heartakarun

Courtesy of Heartakarun

Heartakarun comes from the original Bahasa Indonesia and Malay phrase, ‘harta karun’, which traslates to ‘treasure trove’. Created and curated by three friends, they were continuously inspired by the preservation of various arts and culture globally when they travel. Also having grown up in households that uphold the appreciation of batik, the founders came to a consensus that it is an art form that must be preserved.

The brand specialises in sourcing different forms and styles of Batik, traditionally the art of wax resist technique on cloths. It is currently collaborating with a batik village in Kelantan to craft limited edition artisanal clothing.

See the outcomes of preserving heritage and tradition here. Heartakun’s Instagram also shares about the art and stories of batik, so check that out if it tickles your fancy!

5. Makerly

Courtesy of Makerly

Coined from the phrase ‘Making Happily’, Makerly creates clothing with size-inclusiveness and design for longevity in mind. With traditional batik print and the art of careful tailoring, its line is meticulously cut piece by piece and sewn.

The brand advocate the fact that every body is different and there should be clothes that fit every shape and size beautifully. Its fabulous cloths are also available as masks.

Level up your confidence and shop your tailored batik-wear here.

6. Gypsied

Courtesy of Gypsied

Since 2013, conscious Singapore label Gypsied have been discovering gorgeous heritage textiles and working with communities in Southeast Asia where textile-making is a way of life. Each piece is handwoven and embodies a positive new narrative for the modern woman — “conscious, thoughtful and open to new experiences.”

Founder Aqilah Zailan is Singapore-born, of Javanese-Malay-Siamese origin and paved her present path at the age of 23. Her grandmother insisted on wearing batik and kebaya daily back then, when it was more modernising than ever. Having worn batik since she was 14, Zailan sought answers to and stories of traditional textiles, and eventually fashioned batik classics.

Delve into a conscious lifestyle and secure your timeless, quality batik pieces here or at Design Orchard.

7. Amanda Hartanto

Now, this brand’s not based in Singapore, but it is a notable mention. With a 75.1k following on Instagram (as of the date this article is published), Indonesian brand Amanda Hartanto Batik prides itself on authenticity and quality. Each clothing is custom-made and can be shipped worldwide. The brand also carries matching custom masks for that ultimate matching outfit.

Courtesy of Amanda Hartanto

Its gorgeous pieces are available for purchase via Whatsapp on their Instagram link in bio or Tokopedia here.

Have fun shopping and let’s hope this spree doesn’t break the bank!

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