The unavailability of important cotton cambrics during the Javanese occupation put a temporary halr to all batik production, a situation that was only partially alleviated during the 1950s due to persistent shortages of this key material.
The rapid development of an automated weaving industry in Indonesia during the 1960s and 1970s, though providing ample supllies of fabric for batik production, has also given rise to the production of cheap synthetics and pigment-printed cloth. This competition has been disastrous for the batik cap indusrty, which is now seriously endangered. Thousands of craftsmen have been put of work.
The finer batik tulis, which sells for up wards of US$20 to $100 per 2metre (6,5 foot) length, has fared better. Ricently, however, there has been competition from a new type of imitation-batik silkscreen print produced in Jakarta, which is practically indistinguishable from the real thing at a fraction of the cost.
There are signs, too, that batik is simply nolonger fashionable in the eyes of young Indonesias, who prefer Western-tailored clothes and wrinkle-free polyester fabrics. The two bright spots on the batik scene are the use of fine tulis fabrics in men’s shirts and women’s fashion Jakarta and the export of modified batik cap cottons and rayons to Europe, Australia and Amerika. There is no doubt, though, that teh batik industry will never regain the pre-eminence it enjoyed in Jaya before World War II.
–> For More Details : Read Also : The World of Javanese Batik