After the pleasant airy rooms of the batik collection, polished floors and exhibits beautifully presented, we were lead by the museum guide to the back of the building where batik is made in the ” factory ” on a massive scale.
The work area was huge and industrial with women in one half working with cantings and men in the other half using caps. There were rows and rows of men all in their vests or bare top because it was terribly hot in there. It literally was a sweat shop !
How different the working conditions were in the villages where at least there was ventilation and fresh air. I felt really quite shocked to see this, many of the workers were quite elderly and it didn’t look as if they were having fun. They were all working very hard, under obvious pressure producing batik that would either be sold expensively in the shop or made into bespoke clothing somewhere else.
It has been an insight and gives me more to think about in my discovery of where batik is going and will it survive in the modern world ?