It can be really hard to tell the difference between real and fake batik if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Here is your guide to telling the difference between genuine batik and machine printed imitation batik:
Both can look similar to the untrained eye since both hand-painted and machine printed batik are able to use the same traditional motifs. But authentic batik is batik that is hand-painted on both sides after the application of a hot wax with a canting (pronounced CHANT-ing) which forms the lines of the design. This design can also be hand-pressed with a metal stamp called a batik chop. The design is drawn on both sides therefore both sides are equally vibrant.
Imitation or fake batik on the other hand, will normally have a faded pattern on one side of the fabric due to the fact that it was not hand-crafted equally on both sides. Authentic batik is unique every time unlike fake batik which can be replicated in bulk. Hand-made batik is imperfect and with each design change a new product is born breathing new life into heritage designs as seen in The Batik Boutique Tote Bag below.
Genuine batik can only be hand drawn onto fibrous fabrics such as crepe, rayon, hemp, cotton and silk in contrast to fake batik which is a lot of the time printed onto synthetic materials in order to cut costs.
The Batik Boutique only produces genuine batik products where every piece is hand-drawn or blocked by artisans in order to make a social impact. The Batik Boutique is a social enterprise that supports its artisans with a reliable source of income. It is committed to people and producing sustainable fashion that both empowers people and invests in the future.
Rabin, R. C. (1990). The Intricate Patterning of Batik. Retrieved May 25, 2016, from http://www.nytimes.com/1990/02/18/travel/the-intricate-patterning-of-batik.html?pagewanted=all
How To Recognize An Imitation Batik items in Beauty In Batik store on eBay! (n.d.). Retrieved May 25, 2016, from http://stores.ebay.com/Beauty-In-Batik/How-To-Recognize-An-Imitation-Batik.html