Well, you might be thinking “Ugh, what other places in KL are interesting besides shopping malls and shopping malls again!?”
But, wait! What if I told you that you can visit a batik handicraft centre and create your own batik masterpiece?
Then why not visit the Jadi Batek Gallery in Kuala Lumpur. WOKE has managed to get an interview with Jadi Batek’s owner to tell you all about this awesome place.
About Jadi Batek Gallery
Jadi Batek Gallery is one of the biggest batik handicraft centres at Kuala Lumpur. They have batik tours every day, provide batik workshops and, of course, have retail areas for batik products. Let’s get to know Jadi Batek by its proud owner, Mr Colin.
Woke: Can you share a little bit about the history of Jadi Batek Gallery?
Mr Colin: Jadi Batek was first established in 1976 by my parents. We initially started as a souvenir shop at Bukit Bintang. At that time, our batik depends on foreign tourists where they usually buy garments for when they visit Genting Highlands. However, we started to realize that to be able to sustain our business, souvenir shop alone is not enough. It was then in 2003 where I took over the business and changed it to batik handicraft centre.
“ I feel the needs to have a business that not only solely gaining profit but also a business that can provide educational values”Mr Colin
Woke: Why Jadi Batek?
Mr Colin: I named this batik handicraft center as Jadi Batek because “jadi” in Malay means successful. Batek is batik but we maintain it with the spelling of Malay language in 70-80s.
Woke: What is the vision of Jadi Batek?
Mr Colin: I wanted to change the notion of some Malaysians that think batik as an out-of-date fashion. So my vision is to make batik alive and still relevant as it is the cultural heritage of Malaysia. I also want to make sure that batik can be Malaysian’s everyday apparel and Jadi Batek can be a batik lifestyle company at the same time.
Exciting activities at Jadi Batek
Jadi Batek produces hand drawn batik on a day-to-day basis.
If you want to see how batik is made with your own eyes, Jadi Batek is the right place. You can even talk to the professional batik artisans who have qualifications in fine art studies! Some of them learn batik traditionally from knowledge passed on from generation to generation.
Looking for team building activities for your employees? Jadi Batek can offer just that, and they can even send their own people to a company’s office location and set up the activities there.
You can learn to make batik from scratch and bring it home with price range starting from RM30 to RM60!
The process of “mencanting batik”
Woke: Can you share the detailed process of “mencanting batik”?
Mr Colin: Firstly, we melt the solid form of wax and heat it up until 50 to 70 degrees Celcius. The wax will then turn into liquid. We will use the canting tools to scope the wax design into the fabric. The wax will then cool down. So, we need to go back to the pot and refill it.
“Everybody can draw the outline. You just need to keep your hand steady. It cannot be too fast or else the wax will not be enough. You cannot draw too slowly either because the amount of wax will be overloaded.”Mr Colin
Woke: What are the achievements of Jadi Batek?
Mr Colin: Some of Jadi Batek’s achievements that I can be proud of are when we received a visit from notable people such as the wife of Japan’s prime minister and governor of New Zealand. Apart from that, I’m also glad that people choose to visit us instead of other governmental handicraft centres. It made me feel that people can accept my effort in preserving Malaysia’s cultural heritage.
Woke: What are the challenges that your business faced during this MCO?
Mr Colin: We are badly affected during the early phase of MCO as we depend on international tourists. This is because the locals did not really appreciate batik. At the same time, we are also unable to conduct corporate activities as people cannot come to our place due to MCO.
At the end of this interview session, Mr Colin shared with Woke his hopes to survive this pandemic and be able to expand the business. He also plans to open Jadi Batek branches at shopping malls to connect with more customers.
But, since we are already allowed by the government to go out as usual (of course by following SOP), why don’t we show some support to Jadi Batek? Let’s help to preserve batik’s art is by having more people to appreciate it.
Head over to Jadi Batek’s website now to get more info about this largest batik handicraft centre in Kuala Lumpur!
Jadi Batek Gallery
Address: 30, Jalan Inai, Off Jalan Imbi,
55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Contact number: +60 3 21451133
Operation Hours : 9:00am- 5:00pm
(everyday including Public holidays)