Mega mendung with factory smokestacks

Mega mendung is the name of a batik pattern which originates in Cirebon on the north coast of Java. The name refers to clouds. The origin is Chinese, probably influenced by cloud decoration on 7th century Chinese bronze vessels. It is characterized by a gradation of color from light to dark. The effect is achieved by the batik process by applying successive lines of wax next to each other, with a dye bath of the same color after each application. When the wax is removed the successive lines of color from light to dark create the distinctive gradation that makes this pattern so appealing.

The mega mendung motif in this kain panjang (hip wrapper) batik os adapted to illustrate the carbon monoxide emissions in factory smokestacks.


This is the final dye bath. At this point 5 successive adjacent lines of wax have been applied, with a dye bath after each one. The entire area of the cloth has been covered with wax except the central area of each cloud. It was not covered with wax during the entire process and consequently received all the successive dye baths, so it is the darkest color in the gradation. After this dye bath the wax will be removed by immersing the cloth in a vat of boiling water.

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