Batik Painting Demo at Kota Bharu, Malaysia

Exploring the artsy roots of Malaysia… 


A staycation is always a wise choice when you have a short weekend with no travels lined up. You spend enough time exploring what’s in your own city rather than travelling outside. Last month, we spent a good deal of time checking out the art-laden roots of Malaysia. Yes, we are talking about the traditional form of painting, namely batik painting.

Batik is a beautiful form of fabric painting done with wax and colours. There are different spots at Kota Bharu for the same. The following description is of the Cultural Centre of Gelannggan Seni (hands-on experience) and Nordin Batik (demo). There are a number of cottage industries dealing with batik along Kubor Kuda, Kampung Putih and Kampung Badan as well.


A tour of the batik painting are at Nordin Batik

To make the best of our staycation while my sister came over to visit us, we thought of trying our hands at this form of art. We used to watch our Mom do batik painting in a dedicated room, constantly warning us not to touch the hot pan of wax when we were young. The form out here was a little different though and quite interesting too. They make use of a pen-like mould called canting into which the wax is poured. It is released in small amounts to make an outline on the cloth. As the wax dribbles, it sets fast and steady along the length of the fabric. Once dried, colourd dyes are poured through brushes. These dyes are diluted with water as the painter strokes the brush to get the desired effect.

Watch the women at work:

Getting the fabric ready
Painting in progress…
Pinned and left to dry
Identical patterns above and below
Moulds for block batik-printing

Of paints, colours and dyes: 

Which colour do you choose?
Pails of dyes stored in the section adjacent to the painting area
The wax that is used…
Don’t I look pail (err..pale) with excitement 😉

Hands-on experience:

This was the best part of the batik zone. We chose our pattern and sat down in the lawn of the Cultural Centre to try our hands at batik painting. It took us about an hour to complete the pattern and we brought it home with us. It’s now ready to frame 🙂

Who says I’ve messed it up? I’m just trying to rectify it :p

Psst… An A4 size pattern costs RM 15 at the Cultural Centre and RM 20 at Nordin Batik.

A view of the batik space and activity ground of the Cultural Centre


Pieces painted in fabric make for the best souvenirs too. Be it hand-painted scarves, head gear, money pouches, bags or clothes, they are available in vibrant colours and distinct patterns. Most of the centres have a souvenir shop attached to them where they sell batik pieces, as well as postcards, moon kites, baskets, interesting artifacts, hand bags and more.

Souvenirs at Nordin Batik
Souvenirs at the Cultural Centre

We couldn’t have asked for a more engaging and relaxing tour. There is so much to explore in this little city that a weekend here is just not enough. Stay tuned for more…

Hope you enjoyed the artsy demo

Check out our travel & food posts on Instagram.


Read – Travel – Enjoy

26 thoughts on “Batik Painting Demo at Kota Bharu, Malaysia

  1. Good to see Batik still flourishing. Once upon a time had a green batik bush shirt ,wore it till it faded after a few years.My wife also tried her hand at batik paintings and produced 2 good ones.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fantastic post really enjoyed reading it, I have done batik arts before in Bali, and it is honestly such an amazing experience especially that I was able to take my creations home Loved your pics and videos.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh this art is very nice and interesting.Malaysia offers a lot of interesting things to explore. Thanks for sharing about Batik painting.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So fascinating how batik is created:) I went to a batik factory in Malaysia a long time ago too! I got a sarong that I wear as pajamas:) My favourites are those with gold paint and flowers, they’re always so detailed and delicate!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great article showing such talented artisans. They do batik in West Africa as well and I have a batik danshiki that I wear sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love Batik. Bought some of Batik dresses from Indonesia. Thank you fir sharing the process of printing I wouldn’t have known how hard it is.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Yeah.. it’s always a thrill to try such stuff.. just do it for the fun of it! Every piece that these painters produced was so unique and tastefully done


  8. Wooow I never knew the name for this. Thank you for introducing it to me! I love hand-painted things, even if there is a mistake on the designs, I appreciate the work and authenticity. I would love to paint one myself even though I’m a terrible artist, but would love to hang it in my room!


  9. I find the art of Batik is so fascinating and beautiful. It looks like it takes so much precision. If I tried I would definitely mess up the whole pattern lol

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s