Batik Stories: A new TRC exhibition, 12 September - 21 October 2018

Sarong made from palm bast, decorated with a painted batik design, from East Sulawesi, c. 1945 (TRC 2018.0040).

Sarong made from palm bast, decorated with a painted batik design, from East Sulawesi, c. 1945 (TRC 2018.0040).

On 12th September the Textile Research Centre (TRC) opens the exhibition ‘Batik Stories’. The exhibition will be set up in collaboration with the artist and the batik blogger, Sabine Bolk, and will show the many aspects of batik. Batik is a resist-dye technique that has been practised for centuries. It is made by applying patterns with (mostly) hot wax (a combination of beeswax with resin), generally on a cotton ground. Batik is mostly known as a textile art from Indonesia and it was officially recognised as such on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list on 2nd October 2009.

But it is not only made in Indonesia. The TRC exhibition will show batik cloth from all over the world. It will show batiks from China, Sri Lanka, Japan, Iran, Syria, Azerbaijan, the African continent, South America (Suriname), but also British and Dutch batiks. Also the question: ‘what is batik exactly?' will be discussed.


Next to batik, other resist-dye techniques, such as Bogolan (from Mali in Africa) and Shibori (Japan) will be exhibited, in order to explain and show the differences between these techniques. Another batik story that will be told is that of the Wax Prints made in the Netherlands. These fabrics have their origins in the Dutch East Indies as imitation batiks, but are now made for the West African market.

During the exhibition different events will be organised, such as, of course, Hari Batik ('Batik Day') on Tuesday 2nd October 2018.

The TRC is open from Monday to Thursday, between 10.00 and 16.00. Entrance is free, but voluntary donations are welcome.



Financial donations to the TRC can be made via Paypal; Donaties aan de TRC kunnen worden overgemaakt via Paypal:

TRC in a nutshell

Hogewoerd 164, 2311 HW Leiden. Tel. +31 (0)71 5134144 / +31 (0)6 28830428

Opening times: Monday to Thursday: 10.00-16.00 hrs, other days by appointment.

Bank account number: NL39 INGB 0002 9823 59

Entrance is free, but donations are always welcome !

Current exhibition: For a few sacks more ...., until 28th June

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The TRC is dependent on project support and individual donations. All of our work is being carried out by volunteers. To support the TRC activities, we therefore welcome your financial assistance: donations can be transferred to bank account number NL39 INGB 000 298 2359, in the name of the Textile Research Centre, Leiden. Since the TRC is officially recognised as a non-profit making cultural institution (ANBI), donations are tax deductible for 125% for individuals, and 150% for commercial companies. For more information, click here
Financial donations to the TRC can be made via Paypal: