Scarf Item Number: Ib424 from the MOA: University of British Columbia


Scarf made of light brown silk with a batik design in brown and black of birds with long tail feathers forming designs, animal figures, floral and vegetal motifs and parallel lines at each end. The long sides are selvedges and the cut ends, finished with black thread, have twisted thin black fringes. Cut and stitched with white thread at the centre of the scarf.

History Of Use

Originally batik was court art because was a domestic occupation of female nobility. Certain patterns reserved only for court use. Similar object of cotton would be used as baby carriers, or shoulder bags. Silk ones worn over one shoulder by upper class women. Worn by both sexes. Shoulder scarves worn by women are called slendang. Batik began as domestic occupation now important industry. Batiks with light background colour is more expensive because they take more work of covering the ground, is slower, and consumes more wax. Women use old method of hand-stick batik while men use copper blocks and can produce up to twenty to forty scarves a day. Dyeing by hand still done. Old method more uneven that new one, but old method produced batik is more expensive and less available. New method of copper blocks (tjab) was introduced mid 19th century.

Cultural Context

clothing; decoration; ceremonial