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Tips For Working With Batik Fabrics

Batik is an Indonesian-Malay word that refers to traditional wax-resist dye method used on cloth. Batik is a traditional fashionable apparel worn across the world. With a huge variety of Batik designs and patterns, it is often loved and worn by people all over the globe especially in Malaysia. Batik depicts the ancient Javanese art and tradition and has become the most desirable pattern in the urban market too. You will find a great range in the men and the women clothing. Batik apparels are evergreen and suit all the genres at any occasion.

The quality of Batik differs in the quality of cloth used. Batik silk are the highly used in parties or formal functions that can be accessorized with Batik sandals, Batik silk handbags or purses, Batik silk scarves etc. Batik designs on cotton have set a new drive among the general public. There is a huge range of designs and colors available in cotton fabric have become highly popular. Cotton Batik is generally used for casual or daily wear in almost all the parts of the world. You are not only amazed to see a huge collection of Batik prints and designs in variable colors but you can also see a number of accessories that complement the apparel. Cotton or silk scarves, sarongs, kurtis, ladies tops, Batik handbags, Batik Kebaya, Batik pants, sleep dresses etc. are widely used by a lot of customers.
The modern and the fashionable industry has readily accepted the traditional designs and patterns of Batik and has manufactured a variety of sarongs, scarves, jackets, dresses and accessories to satisfy the new generation. Batik dresses are worn for many occasions like:
1. Informal dresses are worn as daily wear casual dresses and are available in a wide variety.
2. Formal Occasions like parties, banquets, receptions, formal gatherings etc. where the guests are requested to wear Batik. Full sleeves Batik shirt for men and 'kain batik', a long batik to wrap the whole body is a formal dress worn by women.
3. Traditional occasions like wedding ceremonies, or special ceremonies in royal families where the bride and the bridegroom wear similar Batik motif called Sidomukti, meaning happiness and prosperity throughout their lives. Same Batik motif represents togetherness. Batik with Truntum is worn by parents of the bride and the bridegroom and represents their guidance to the new couple who enter the new life together.
4. Traditional dresses are worn by women in Yogya and Solo court families and consists Jarit or Tapih or Singanj is a long Batik covering the whole body with a stagen, a low waist band, Kebaya is a full sleeves shirt made of silk, Selendang is a beautiful piece of cloth that truly complements the traditional batik attire, lastly the Kemben or Semekan worn for special ceremonies in palaces or ceremonies in royal families where Kemben is worn instead of Kebaya.
5. The Traditional dress of men include Jarit or Bebed is men kain panjang fastened with stagen, Surjan which is a long sleeved shirt without the batik fabric, Beskap is worn instead of Surjan and the fabric is not Batik, Blangkon is a headgear made from Batik and lastly Keris is a dagger that is worn on the backside of the waist, acts as a compliment to the traditional dress. Dodot is a traditional dress worn by the king himself that covers the lower body.
With such a huge collection of traditional Batik dresses which depict the tradition of the past is indeed a pleasure to experience.
To know the traditional attire of the people and how best can batik be accessorized, look at songket accessories [http://www.krafonline.com] Experience the Batik tradition at batik online store [http://www.krafonline.com] Helpful tips for working with batik fabrics at krafonline.com

Types of Batik

Two main types of batik are produced in Malaysia today -- hand-painted and block-printed. The difference lies in the production techniques, motif and aesthetic expressions; each is often classified according to the tool used.

The painter uses the canting, a small copper container with one or more differently sized pipes. The container is attached to a handle made of wood or bamboo. The canting is filled with molten wax and used to trace the outlines of a pattern on the fabric.
Printing is done by means of a metal block made by welding together strips of metal. In former times emptied tin cans were utilised. The block is dipped into molten wax and pressed against the fabric in order to make a pattern.

Individual skill involved
The wax is usually composed of bee's wax, paraffin wax, resin, fat and a synthetic wax mixed together in varying proportions. The mixing outcome depends on individual experience and skill. Each component has special qualities that affect the appearance of the finished textile.
Bee's wax melts at a low temperature, is flexible, attaches easily to the textile surface, and is easily removed. Paraffin wax, yellow as well as white, is brittle and cracks easily so that the dye penetrates the textile and creates a marbled look. Resin binds the ingredients together and makes the wax cling better to the textile. Animal or vegetable fat adds flexibility to the wax mixture. Often wax mixtures are used again.
The price of each ingredient can also affect the mixture. The mixture used for block prints tends to be cheaper than that used for hand-painted silks.
Dyes from local plants and insects were used in traditional textile decoration. One example is the use of leaves from the indigo plants to obtain deep blue colour shades.

Preference for reactive dyes
Today the use of chemically produced dyes is common. In Malaysia reactive dyes are preferred because they are convenient, have clear and brilliant colours, and fasten easily to textiles containing fibres of cellulose as well as silk. The chemical formula of the dye will determine the method for fixing the colours. The colour can, for instance, be fixed by using sodium silicate, or by exposing the material to air.
The range of colours varies from traditional combinations dominated by blue and brown, to brilliant red, turquoise, blue, pink, orange and green. In hand-painting, different shades are obtained by diluting the colour with water during the painting process.
Fabrics of different qualities and structures are used in batik production. These can be cotton, viscose, rayon and silk. Silk is mostly used for hand painting. Industrially produced textiles have to be boiled or washed in order to remove finish and other residues before waxing and colouring can take place.
To make the colour fasten well, the fabric is treated with starch made from rice or cassava. For fine work, some oil is also added to obtain a smoother surface that makes it easier to control the waxing. Finally the fabric is ironed to remove creases. In earlier times, the fabrics were smoothened by beating them with a wooden club.

Traditional hand-painted batik
Hand-painting of batik in Malaysia builds on traditions from the Javanese hand-painted batek tulis. In Java, the pattern was traced on both sides before the fabric was soaked in the dye.
In present-day Malaysia, the prepared and measured-out fabric is stretched over a metal or wooden frame. The pattern is traced with a soft pencil. The canting is filled with two-third of liquid wax, and the utensil is held at an angle against the cloth. The artist has to be extremely precise to obtain a smooth flow of wax. The utensil will have to be dipped frequently into the wax pot to keep the optimal temperature. If the wax is too hot it will penetrate the fibres too deeply, and is difficult to remove. If it is too cold it will not fasten properly.
When the waxing is finished on one side of the fabric, it is left to dry. If the wax has not penetrated the fabric properly the operation is repeated on the other side. The next step is painting the parts of the fabric that are not covered in wax. The painter uses brushes of different sizes, and larger areas may be coloured with a sponge.
The shade can be varied by adding water or more colour. The colour has to dry before fixing. Finally, the wax is removed in hot water, and the fabric is rinsed several times in order to remove excess dye and residues of wax.

Wax patterns in block printing
The measured-out cloth is put on a padded table. The printer has the wax pot at his side. The block is dipped into the pot to be filled with wax, and then it is pressed against the cloth. The process is repeated until the entire cloth has been filled with wax patterns.
The printer can change between different blocks as needed for the design. When the waxing is finished the cloth is soaked in dye. The colour fastens to the areas that have not been waxed. From now on the original white colour will only be visible when the wax has been removed from the cloth.
For polychrome patterns, the process of waxing and soaking will continue until the required number of colours have been obtained. Usually the printer will start with the lighter colours and end up with the dark ones. Finally, the wax and excess colour are removed by boiling and rinsing the fabric. The fabric is then hung to dry.

Chemical solution is used
There can be local variations in the process. Instead of going from light to dark colours, it is possible to start with giving the entire piece a dark colour, usually blue or brown. Then outlines and parts of the pattern can be printed in wax, and the fabric is soaked in a chemical solution that removes the colour from the areas not waxed. The batik piece changes from lighter to darker colours. When this procedure is used the outlines become more dominant.
Hand painting and block printing are often combined, and this method will be an easier way to give the textiles more colours and freer patterns.
In contemporary Malaysia, several techniques are used to produce batik-like textiles. For example, by adding a layer of wax to an ordinary screen print it is possible to make a cracked pattern and it looks more like genuine batik.
To a layman, it is often difficult to ascertain whether a textile is real batik. A good criterion of real batik is to find out that the designs on two sides of the fabric are the same.


Kain Songket adalah hasil daripada tenunan benang sutera atau kapas yang ditenun bersama-sama dengan benang emas atau perak. Ia telah terkenal di Malaysia sejak abad ke 15 yang lampau. Perkataan songket berasal daripada perkataan sungkit iaitu teknik menyungkit. Industri tenunan songket ini telah berkembang pesat terutamanya di negeri-negeri Pantai Timur seperti di Terengganu dan Kelantan.
Bunga atau hiasan di kepala kain di tenun mengikut citarasa penenun. Corak atau ragam hias tersebut dikenali dengan nama-nama seperti tapak manggis, pucuk rebung, lawi ayam dan sebagainya.
Tenunan songket ini dilakukan sebagai industri kecil, yang mana kemahiran seseorang penenun itu mengambil masa selama enam minggu untuk menghasilkan sehelai kain songket yang panjangnya di antara 20 hingga 40 meter. Sesuatu yang mengkagumkan tentang seseorang penenun mahir ialah, dia tidak melakar corak songket di atas kertas sebelum kerja-kerja menenun dilakukan sebaliknya ia tercetus daripada daya kreativiti dan imaginasi yang tinggi lagi unik.
Motif yang digunakan untuk menenun songket diilhamkan daripada alam semulajadi. Antara motif-motif songket:
  1. Motif Tumbuh-tumbuhan
  2. Motif Binatang
  3. Motif Alam/Benda
  4. Motif Kuih
Corak kain songket lazimnya terdiri dari:
  1. Susunan bunga penuh
  2. Susunan bunga bertabur
  3. Susunan bercorak
Proses Pembuatan
Secara ringkasnya proses menenun songket adalah dengan menggunakan teknik menyungkit iaitu menggunakan lidi buluh atau bilah nibung melalui benang loseng (warp) di permukaan alat tenun yang dipanggil  kek tenun. Proses menyungkit dilakukan setelah benang karat butang disediakan. Benang karat butang digunakan untuk membuat reka corak atau sulaman benang emas.
Mencelup benang
Benang perlu dibersihkan sebelum dicelup ke dalam pewarna. Setelah pewarnaan dibuat benang perlu di keringkan, sebelum kerja selanjutnya dilaksanakan.
Melerai benang
Pelenting yang diperbuat daripada buluh kecil digunakan untuk melilit benang. Proses ini dilakukan dengan bantuan alat darwin dan alat pemutar rahat.
Menganeng benang
Proses membuat benang loseng yang diregang di alat penenun bagi menentukan saiz panjang atau jumlah helai kain yang akan ditenun.
Benang-benang yang diregang di alat menganeng (ianian) digulung dengan sekeping papan loseng.
Menyapuk benang
Setelah benang loseng dimasukkan ke dalam gigi atau sikat jentera, kerja-kerja menyapuk dilakukan. Dua urat benang loseng dikaitkan melalui setiap celah gigi jentera.
Mengarak benang
Karak dibuat daripada benang asing yang digelung. Benang loseng berangka genap dan ganjil akan diangkat turun naik secara berselang seli sewaktu menenun.
Menyongket benang
Proses mereka corak di atas benang loseng dengan menggunakan alat yang di panggil lidi dengan menyongketkan benang loseng sebanyak tiga atau lima lembar dan kemudian diikat dan dikenali sebagai proses ikat butang.
Alat torak yang diisi dengan benang pakan atau benang emas, dimasukkan ke kiri dan kanan di celah-celah benang loseng mengikut corak yang telah ditentukan hinggalah menjadi sekeping kain. Kain yang telah siap ini dipotong mengikut saiz.
Pada zaman dahulu songket melambangkan kebesaran. Raja-raja dan pembesar-pembesar istana sahaja yang bekemampuan memakainya. Kegunaannya adalah untuk membuat tanjak, samping, kain selendang dan persalinan diraja. Tetapi di zaman moden songket digunakan untuk pakaian pengantin, perhiasan dinding, beg tangan, alas meja, barang-barang cenderamata dan sebagainya mengikut keupayaan pengusaha untuk mempelbagaikannya.
Setelah sekian lama perusahaan songket berkembang di Malaysia maka kini corak songket mendapat tempat di hati para arkitek. Terdapat beberapa bangunan pencakar langit telah diterapkan dengan corak songket seperti bangunan Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia.

Motif Dan Sejarah Batik Di Malaysia

Batik merupakan satu bidang kraftangan yang unggul di Malaysia. Sejak abad ke 15 Masihi lagi manusia telah menemui kaedah pembuatan batik secara tradisional. Pada masa dahulu, masyarakat Melayu menggunakan ubi kentang sebagai alat pengecap tetapi kini kain batik telah diusahakan dengan menggunakan alat-alat moden. Batik mula diperkenalkan di negara kita khususnya di negeri Kelantan sejak tahun 1910 lagi. Batik berasal dari Indonesia dan terbit dari perkataan Jawa 'tik' yang bermaksud menitik atau menulis titik-titik. Ambatik pula bermaksud melukis, menulis, mewarna atau menitik. Di alam Melayu, sejenis batik yang dipanggil Batik Pelangi telah diperkenalkan sejak tahun 1770-an lagi. Di Malaysia kebanyakan kilang perusahaan batik banyak terdapat di Kelantan dan Terengganu.
Motif Batik
Motif pembuatan batik adalah corak-corak hiasan yang digunakan dalam proses melukis atau menerap batik. Bentuk-bentuk motif batik dihasilkan dalam dua bentuk utama iaitu Motif Organik dan Motif Geometrik. Motif Organik berunsurkan alam semulajadi seperti awan larat, tumbuh-tumbuhan, bunga-bungaan, dan haiwan.
Contoh Motif Organik.
1.Motif Ayam
2.Motif Bunga Buluh
3.Motif Bunga Kerak Nasi
4.Motif Bunga Kotak Bercampur
5.Motif Bunga Orkid
6.Motif Bunga Raya
7.Motif Daun Sireh
8.Motif Geometrik
9.Motif Pucuk Rebung
10.Motif Rama-rama
11.Motif Siput
Contoh Motif Geometrik.
1.Motif Pucuk Rebung
2.Motif Bunga Kotak Bercampur
Corak kain batik bermaksud bagaimana motif-motif yang dipilih dicorakkan di atas kain batik tersebut.
Antara corak-corak yang sering digunakan.
1.Corak Berdiri
2.Corak Jalur
3.Corak Melintang
4.Corak Menyeluruh
5.Corak Menyerong
6.Corak Tompok-tompok
7.Corak Ulangan Batu-bata
8.Corak Ulangan/Selang seli
Proses Membuat
Alatan yang biasanya digunakan untuk membuat batik.
1.Blok penerap
2.Campuran lilin
5.Sebuah Meja
Kain benang kapas berwarna putih merupakan yang sesuai untuk membuat batik. Selepas diterap dengan lilin pertama, ia akan dicelup dengan warna yang gelap sedikit. Setelah itu, ia akan diterap untuk kali kedua dan kemudian dicelup dengan warna yang lebih gelap. Proses ini akan diteruskan hingga habis. Kain ini akan direbus dalam air yang mengandungi soda. Apabila direbus, warna-warna yang berlainan akan kelihatan. Kain batik ini kemudiannya akan dijemur hingga kering. Kain-kain batik yang sudah kering, akan digosok, dilipat dan dibungkus untuk dipasarkan.
Penjenisan Kain Batik
Batik terbahagi kepada tiga jenis.
Batik BlokKain putih akan diterapkan dengan corak batik yang menggunakan blok corak. Blok corak diperbuat daripada kayu atau logam. Proses ini dilakukan berulang-ulang dengan mengikut susunan yang tertentu sehinggalah selesai. Di mana blok itu telah dicelupkan terlebih dahulu ke dalam pewarna sebelum ditekapkan di atas kain tersebut.
Batik Conteng
Alat canting digunakan bagi melakar corak batik dengan lilin panas di atas kain putih. Setelah kerja-kerja melakar selesai, proses mewarna mengikut kesesuaian corak dilakukan dengan menggunakan berus cat, dimana bahagian-bahagian yang terkena lilin itu tidak akan meninggalkan kesan warna apabila proses mematikan warna di lakukan. Lilin akan cair dan tanggal menjadikan bahagian-bahagian ini berwarna putih sebagai benteng.
Batik Skrin
Batik skrin ini tidak kurang hebatnya jika dibandingkan dengan batik blok dan conteng. Hanya kaedah melakar corak dan cara menerapkan warna sahaja yang berbeza. Corak batik dibentuk di atas skrin yang diperbuat daripada kain polyster yang berpengidang. Skrin dilekapkan di atas kain putih, proses pewarnaan dengan melalukan warna di atas corak tadi dengan menggunakan sekuji. Cara begini akan diulang beberapa kali dengan corak yang berlainan untuk mendapatkan corak batik yang lengkap. Ini disebabkan satu skrin untuk satu warna sahaja.

Penduduk di negara kita menggunakan batik secara meluas. Batik digunakan untuk membuat baju, kain sarung atau batik lepas. Sebagai contoh, pakaian seragam pramugari kapal terbang MAS dibuat daripada batik. Batik juga digunakan dalam majlis-majlis formal dan majlis keramaian. Selain dibuat pakaian, batik juga digunakan sebagai hiasan seperti alas meja, cadar, sarung kusyen, tudung kepala, alas televisyen dan lain-lain lagi. Batik boleh dibeli dengan harga yang murah dan berpatutan. Batik begitu digemari pelancong-pelancong asing kerana coraknya yang menarik dan unik. Ia sering dijadikan buah tangan untuk dibawa pulang ke negara masing-masing.

Sumber dari :Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia http://malaysiana.pnm.my
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 21 April 2010 13:32 )