Malaysian Batik, and batik in general, is a textile art and craft with ancient origins. Designs are created on cloth by first applying wax and then fabric dyes. There is some debate about the exact origins of batik, but it can be traced back at least 1,500 years to Egypt and the Middle East. Samples have also been found in Turkey, India, China, Japan and West Africa from past centuries. Some of the most well-known batik traditions are to be found in Malaysia and Indonesia.
Malaysians are very proud of their batik heritage and it is considered a national symbol. It’s also one of the most popular souvenirs for travelers visiting Malaysia.
During our 3 month stay in George Town, Penang we took a batik class and visited the Batik Painting Museum Penang.
Just around the corner from our temporary home at the Spices Hotel, we found Rozana’s Batik. Here you can try your hand at batik painting. You have the choice to either draw your own design from scratch or you can buy a pre-drawn design. Our son created his from scratch while his less artistically inclined parents opted for pre-drawn designs.
First you draw your design on paper and then transfer it over to the fabric.
Rozana instructs Ethan on how to use the wax pen to trace the design.
Now, simply paint the design, making the colors more or less intense depending on the amount of water added to the pigment. Rozana also showed us how to use sugar and salt to create some very cool effects.
In addition to offering classes, the resident artist, Rozana, creates and sells her work in the adjacent boutique.
The Batik Painting Museum Penang can be found on Armenian Street. It’s a lovely little gallery with 3 floors displaying about 70 Batik Paintings from over 25 artist. There is an interesting selection of different styles represented. It’s definitely worth a visit and only takes about 30-60 minutes to explore.
Address: 81B, 81C Lebuh Acheh, George Town, Penang
Hours: Monday-Saturday 10:30AM – 6PM, allow 2-3 hours for session
Price: RM50 to draw and paint your own design, RM25 to paint a pre-drawn design
Batik Painting Museum Penang
Address: 19 Armenian street, George Town, Penang
Hours: Monday-Sunday 10am – 5pm
Price: RM5(Adult) and RM1 (Children)