“As to quality, if you’re not sure of your ability to judge and you care about getting the best, visit Murni’s Warung Shop… on Ubud’s main street. You’ll get honest answers, fair fixed prices, and a selection of the best textiles from throughout Indonesia and elsewhere. These are the only stores recommended for geringsing.”
Batik is regarded by the Javanese as one of the 5 halus or elite arts, along with wayang kulit (shadow puppets), gamelan music, lakon (the myths dramatized in wayang kulit), tempongs (classical poetry), and joged (classical court dance).
There are many waxings and dyeings and other treatments in order to make a batik. The great centres are in Central Java and North Java.
Central Java has three colours, whereas North Java is multi-coloured.
In Central Java,Yogyakarta batiks are distinguished by their strong dark brown, blue and white designs. Brown symbolizes the earth, blue symbolizes heaven, both placed on the white of the air.
Solo or Surakarta, also in Central Java, has brown, blue and cream. Around 1900 synthetic dyes were imported to Java from Germany. The colours are harsher than vegetable dyes. This is because the colours are equal in strength.
Vegetable dyes show a graduation of colour nuances.