Video credit: Sabah Tourism Board
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Batik block is one of the better-known traditional crafts of Malaysia. A process of wax printing and dyeing
produces it. It is believed that batik history in Malaysia began in 15th century and was rapidly developed in
1930s until the end of World War II and it stated in Kelantan and Terengganu. The locally produced batik cloths are of high quality in terms of design and pattern. This reflection of the skillfulness of the local craftsmen whose creativity is very much admired. There are several ways to produced batik. One of them is batik block or is known as batik terap.
In the early batik history, the blocks were made from wood, which was carved according to the design, which is used to apply or imprint a kind of natural block dye. This technique is called terap hitam. In the 1930s, the batik producer from the East Coast introduced the used of wax in batik making. The producer slowly replaced the wooden block with metal blocks made from zinc, tin or cooper strips.
These metal blocks are able to produce a quality design and intricate motifs. Special block are made to print different portions of the cloth such as kepala kain (center panel), kapit kain and badan kain (main part of the batik cloth).
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