Javanese batik square or headcloth, Sie King Goan (factory); 1927

Javanese batik square or headcloth, Sie King Goan (factory); 1927

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Javanese batik square, possibly a headcloth, Sie King Goan (factory); 1927. Wax-resist dyed (batik) on cotton; square with plain, undyed, undecorated center diamondwith narrow borders; field pattern repeats in the four quadrants, of a branching flower and bird design against a densely scroll-patterned ground. Predominating color is bang-bangan (red) combined with nilo (indigo blue).; made by Sie King Goan, of Solosche Batikhandelaar, Solo (Surakarta), Java, in 1927. The donor described the batik-making process she observed at the factory of Sie King Goan (proprietor and name of the factory), Solosche Batikhandelaar, street address: Kanggotan, Solo, Java. First, the plain cotton cloth, which she described as muslin, is bleached in castor oil and lye water for about 15 days. Then it is boiled for about 2 hours to remove the oil and prepare it for waxing. The wayang figures representing historical accounts of early Java were drawn in pencil by men. Women traced the pencil drawing with the tjanting, which deposits the wax for the resist-dyeing. They use beeswax, which is melted in an oven. The blue and black dyes are from indigo, obtained from a plant which the Javanese call "nilo." The cloth must be in the dye bath for the indigo for from 10-30 days. After dyeing the cloth is boiled to remove the wax. The cloth is then rewaxed for the next dye bath. For the brown dye the root of the koedoe tree is used. The bark is crushed and the juice diluted. In this bath the batik is dipped twice a day and immediately dried, but not in the sun, because the heat of the sun may melt the wax. Dyeing takes 10 to 15 days. The dyed cloth is then again boiled and rewaxed. The red dye, bang-bangan, is a mixture of about a dozen different kinds of leaves and flowers that give red coloring materials. The length of time to be kept in the bath depends upon how deep the color is wanted. The dyed cloth is again boiled and rewaxed. The yellow dye is from Koeningan, obtained from a tree. Branches are chopped off into small pieces and boiled for 5 or 6 hours. The batiks are boiled in it for at least 2 hours. Starch may be used to stiffen the batik. Usually the hard press of packing serves to iron the batiks.
Currently not on view
Object Name
batik panel
batik panel
panel or headcloth, batik
date made
ca. 1927
Sie King Goan, Solosche Batikkery
place made
Indonesia: Jawa Tengah, Surakarta
Physical Description
cotton (overall material)
plain weave, batik (overall production method/technique)
overall: 41 1/2 in x 41 1/2 in; 105.41 cm x 105.41 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. C. D. Walcott
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Textiles
Javanese Batiks
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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