FR Week - #4 Mokhtar: Driven to Be The Person He is Today

Fashion production covers a broader scope than fabric, dyeing and sewing. It includes machines, tools and gadgets. Batik includes tools as well - artisans need blocks and canting tools. The Batik Boutique values each person involved in the production of our corporate gifts, garments and apparels, and it’s our commitment to show you the people behind the block production as well.

Finding block makers is becoming a very difficult task in Malaysia. There are just a few people working on this demanding craftsmanship. Block makers translate pattern designs  into a waxing matrix, mastering copper into motifs. Block making is a heritage apprenticeship that is learned from apprenticeship.  

Mokhtar has been working in batik for the past 25 years. He is a serene man from a village in the state of Kelantan, Malaysia, where the pace of life forces you to slow down. For him, working with batik is rewarding and challenging - and sometimes he is forced to speed up and innovate in order to fulfill the needs of the always-changing fashion industry.

batik block fair trade malaysia

“In fashion everything moves really fast. We have to come up with new batik designs in a very short period of time.” To overcome this challenge, Mokhtar teams up with other batik artisans. They discuss, experiment with new designs and techniques, and study the marketing demands.

Mokhtar is passionate about what he does. We asked him about how he felt being a batik artisan. He is a man of few words, but very powerful ones:

“I don’t know how to put it in words… batik has driven me to be the person I am today. What I do makes me who I am. I feel like this heritage should remain forever. It’s about protecting our cultural tradition and protecting who we are in the days to come.”

fashion revolution mokhtar batik block malaysia


Talking to Mokhtar was a rewarding experience. We loved listening, seeing and knowing that our work is supporting people’s livelihood, passion, and culture. Empowering artisans like Mokhtar means they will be able improve their own lives through their work and craftsmanship. And that is what The Batik Boutique is all about.

It’s Fashion Revolution. Join us! Don’t forget to show your love to amazing people like Mokhtar.

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