DESIGNS BY COUNTRIES
Dissimilar to the designs of today, Ramayana batik depicts figurines with facial features such as those depicted in a Wayang Kulit. It is one of the earliest forms of design in Indonesia. It is unique, as it tells a story, unlike other traditional geometric Batik designs like Kawang, Ceplok, Parang and Betawi batik, some of which are believed to bring good luck, protection, victory, or to possess healing properties.
It is believed that traditional designs and colours such as beige, blue, brown and black made from natural ingredients were used in Central Java (blue is the oldest colour, followed by brown). Chineseinfluenced batik in the North Coast of Java, however, often depicts intricate designs such as flowers in bolder hues. Meanwhile, in Jogjakarta and Surakarta, gold leaf (otherwise known as Prada) was used for special occasions until it was replaced by gold paint.
In Malaysia, one is able to see the shift from traditional to modern Batik patterns. Traditional patterns come in layers, focusing on the soft curves of flowers, sharper edges, and geometric and intricate patterns in dark and bold colours. With time, the focus shifted to the use of linear shapes in depicting animal movements, while modern designs are “cleaner” with more evident white space. In later days, with newer techniques like screen painting and canting, designs were further simplified, which would of course affect the symbolic representation of traditional designs. The blues and browns gave way to more attractive shades of red, pink, purple and orange.