Tanahan is the ornamental pattern that forms the foundation of the Klowongan (outline) decoration; which is usually the main attraction of a piece of batik cloth.
Inspired by the small details of nature, batik Tanahan is a motif that requires expert-level hand-drawn skill to capture intricate flower buds and small plants like ferns or manggar (the flower pistil of a coconut palm tree).
To make the fine patterns of this wax dyed background, artisans use a traditional pen-like tool called the canting in its smallest size.
Tanahan is the isen-isen (ornamental or filler pattern) that forms the foundation of the klowongan (outline) decoration; which is usually the main attraction of a piece of batik cloth.
Initially, the function of the Tanahan ornamental patterns was to cover the base of the batik cloth with wax before it was coloured. Without Tanahan, the background colours of the batik cloth could look uneven.
Tanahan is usually treated as a second-class ornamental variety, which means it was worn by commoners for daily use. These patterns are usually 'hidden' behind the splendor of the klowongan with dominates a piece of batik cloth.
The Batik Library x KELIR are proud to present the Tanahan collection. Dyed using 100% natural, chemical-free indigo, each piece is a unique hand-made piece featuring the intricate pattern of batik Tanahan. The darker the blue shade is the more number of dips required in the process - with deeper shades of indigo blue requiring up to 22 times of dip dyeing. We invite you to check out the collection here.
About the Artisan
As a full-time artisan, batik making has been a way for Ibu Nur to support her family.