Batik Lawas has special place in of pride in treasury of Indonesian textile heritage and tradition. Usually "Lawas" applied for Batik over 40years of old, it's amazing how the colour looks brighter and subtle within the time, and the natural colours used in the process make them look so beautiful even now! No wonder many batik collectors are actively looking for Tjoa batiks.
One of the well-known is Batik Tiga Negri made by Tjoa's family long time back in Solo (Surakarta). Tjoa Giok Tjiam was born in chinese peranakan family & started his batik business in year 1910, got married with Liem Netty.
They had 2 sons:
1. Tjoa Tjoen Kiat (1910), had 3 children:
Tjoa Siang Gwan, Tjoa Tjing Nio (Ny Sie Djien Nio), Tjoa Siang Swie
2. Tjoa Tjoen Tiang( 1914), had 3 children:
Tjoa Siang Hing, Tjoa Siang Lie, Tjoa Siang Liat
They made Batik Tiga Negri - if you're wondering why it's called like that- it's because this amazing reason: based on the history, this kind of batik has been coloured in different locations in Java: Solo (for brown/sogan colour), Lasem (for red colour) and Pekalongan (for blue colour) !
Pics above: Tjoa Tjoen Tiang (TOTOT) Batik 3 Negri
We can imagine how extensive the work of producing a piece of Batik, considering the distance between cities, the the road access during the time. And Tjoa's family were meticulously to quality that they'd like to do quality control even in between the process, so the Batik travelled along the way: Solo-Lasem-Solo-Pekalongan-Solo!
It sounds complicated but they believed that each city has its own special and colour recipe that sourced from natural plants. Other factor that causing its special colour were the water in the particular city/area, that mixed perfectly to create beautiful desired colour.
Pekalongan was famous for their natural indigo made from Tarum leave/indigofera, Lasem was known for their red colour from mengkudu root mixed with other ingredients, and Solo was known for their beautiful sogan (brown-yellow) colour.
It's so delightful to enjoy Tjoa's Batik Tiga Negri while appreciating all the effort done in producing one piece of the art!