May 23, 2019

Baobab Batik & Butik Batik

Baobab Batik Leggings
Photo by Baobab Batik

When it comes to Batik, it is important to realise that this technique is used worldwide. The technique is at least a 1000 years old and old fragments were found in places like Egypte and throughout Asia.
Before it was practiced on Java in Indonesia, Batik was already part of the Indian block-printing proces of Chintz and the Miao people of China used it in their traditional wear.
So although Batik is the official Unesco heritage of Indonesia, and Indonesia is working hard to protect their living tradition, handmade Batik is flourishing in other places  too.

One of these places is in Swaziland. Swaziland, officially the Kingdom of Eswatini, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. It is on my wish-list to visit, and my first stop would be Baobab Batik.
Baobab Batik is a social enterprise founded by Els Hooft in 1991. She wished to follow her passion of creating batiks, as well as offering sustainable work opportunities for women. Since then Baobab Batik has evolved into a thriving enterprise employing 35 artisans full time.
I was following Baobab Batik on Instagram for some time, when they shared some legging they were making for a costumer. I was on the look out for legging with Batik for a while and contacted them directly. I was able to order some pairs for me & some other Batik/legging fans. The package took forever to get here by snailmail and the envelop covered with stamps made me laugh. The leggings were gorgeous & I since then I rocked them weekly, especially in Winter time. Perfect way of wearing Batik without freezing!

Since, I believe it is now one year, Baobab Batik has a reseller in the Netherlands. In 2014 Mirjam van Gelder started Butik Batik {Butik is shop in Bahasa Indonesia}. First her focus was on Batik from Indonesia, but now she focus on products by Baobab Batik. Also she is added other resist-dyes & eco-printed items to her stock.
Since beginning of this year she opened a shop {for retail} at the Retailbeurs, the Trade Mart in Utrecht. The Trade Mart is located behind the Central Station. With a free downloadable ticket you can visit Butik Batik every Monday. I went there when she just moved her store there and had a great talk.
I had invited her to the Wastra Weekend, but her car broke down on that day, so we missed out on her products.
So we finally met and talk about of course Batik, but also the importance of sustainability in what you sell, buy and practice in daily life. Mirjam is,  like me, trying to live plastic free & it is wonderful to meet someone who choose to stand for something sustainable & handmade between a lot of mass-produced stuff. She is not the only one at Trade Mart with handmade things, but not all have such a clear and great story as Mirjam's Butik Batik.

Folded Baobab Batik scarfs at Butik Batik

Elephant stuffed animals & pillows by Baobab Batik at Butik Batik 

More Elephants, so cute! And super (eco-)friendly, so safe for kids

A post shared by Sabine Bolk (@sabinebolk) on

To re-stock on leggings for myself for the Tong Tong Fair {because I am planning to wear Batik every day for all 11 days} I visited Butik Batik the Monday before the Tong Tong Fair started. Happy I did, because I now have some Baobab Batik items at our 'Batik Stand'!
The beautiful Tubular Scarfs, all different colours and lovely designs. They can be used as a scarf, but also as a headwrap. On the cardboard label is a nice drawing of how to wear it as such. Next to the scarfs, I will have the Baobab Batik leggings!!!! Yeah! So come visit our 'Batik Stand' and shop Baobab Batik!

Doris Magaia, Baobab Batik Waxer wearing a Baobab Batik Tubular Scarf
Photo by Baobab Batik

During the 61th Tong Tong Fair me together with Guave will be hosting 'The Batik Stand, A Stand For Batik'. From 23 May till 2 June you can find us on the Grand Pasar for everything about, on and with Batik. Come stand with us for Batik!

For more on Baobab Batik please visit

For more on Butik Batik please visit

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